Illinois is one of 10 states getting millions from the federal government to find ways to move food stamp recipients into self-sufficiency. Illinois is getting $21.9 million over three years to distribute to community organizations that help make the unemployed employable, teaching them job skills as well as job etiquette, such as turning up on time every day. This is a pilot project with various approaches being tried in 10 states, says Tim English, the regional food and nutrition services administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Ultimately what we learn here in Illinois, and in the projects around the country, will help Illinois SNAP participants and participants around the country, achieve more gainful employment and ultimately self-sufficiency, he said.
SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for what used to be known as food stamps.
The Illinois effort will start in October with 15 community organizations across the state already lined up; the state would like to add more.