State Ranks Eighth in Food Stamp Program: Counties Contribute to Performance Ranking
July 27, 2004
BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Department of Human Services recognized the work of a number of counties throughout the state in helping the state achieve eighth place in a U.S. Department of Agriculture performance ranking of food stamp programs in the states and territories. The state’s payment error rate was 4.85 percent compared with the national average of 6.64 percent.
The Department of Human Services distributed recognition awards to the counties based upon superior performance among counties with comparable caseloads or counties in their multi-county administrative regions.
The counties honored for completing the highest percentage of case file reviews in their administrative regions, an important quality review process that helps ensure that people receive the right amount of food stamp benefits, included: Divide, Grand Forks, Mountrail, Sioux, Stutsman, and Traill.
While both state and county efforts contribute to North Dakota’s low payment error rate, six counties were recognized for achieving the lowest error rate among counties with comparable caseloads. These included: LaMoure, McLean, Renville, Richland, Ward, and Williams counties. The recognition was based on a review of data from federal fiscal year (FFY) 2001 to FFY 2003.
Awards for most improved were based on error rate data spanning FFY 2001 to FFY 2003 and were presented to Hettinger County (counties with caseloads of 1-50), Cavalier and Sheridan counties (caseloads of 51-100), Mercer County (caseloads of 101-200), Sioux and Walsh counties (caseloads of 201-400), Morton County (caseloads of 401-800), and Cass County (caseloads of 1,000+).
In addition, a traveling trophy named in honor of former state food stamp program director Conrad J. Moe was presented to the West Central Region for earning the lowest error rate among the administrative regions in FFY 2003. Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, and Sioux counties are in that region.
The federally funded food stamp program helps qualifying low-income households meet their nutritional needs. Last month, 41,675 North Dakotans received food stamp benefits, and almost half of them were children age 18 or younger. Burleigh, Cass, Grand Forks, Rolette, and Ward counties have the largest food stamp caseloads in the state.
Arlene Dura, N.D. Department of Human Services (DHS), Director, Food Stamp Program, (701) 328-2328, or Heather Steffl, DHS Public Information Officer, (701) 328-4933