Accelerating the Modernization of SNAP--at the Speed of Digital.

Author:Mounts, David
Position:Technology speaks - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers one of the most promising opportunities for accelerated modernization within health and human services. The in-market availability of the technology, its proven effectiveness in reaching and engaging program participants, and the many benefits that would be derived make improving SNAP an expedient reality.

A singular, comprehensive solution would enable program-wide optimization. The successful solution will holistically address systemic challenges and advance the Food and Nutrition Service's goal of healthier outcomes for constituents. That solution--that digital, mobile solution--exists today.

Leveraging Proven Technology

While the explosive growth in e-commerce has only recently dominated business headlines, digital technology has been powering retail for decades. Each day retailers and manufacturers successfully employ digital technology to engage, serve millions of customers, and securely execute billions of transactions. Their collective success achieving greater operational efficiency, enhancing system security, and improving service to external audiences clearly demonstrates that this time-proven technology can be leveraged to immediately accelerate needed modernization for SNAP. This digital platform can be utilized by state agencies to enhance SNAP recipient engagement and to optimize SNAP operations. Further enhanced through greater mobile access, and combined with advanced data analytics, this technology will drive improved outcomes for both SNAP recipients and administrators.

Maximizing Mobile Engagement

Digital technology has changed how Americans across demographics pursue their wellness and savings goals and gives further credence to the need for expanded digital utilization by SNAP; smartphone adoption now exceeds 81 percent (1)--with 64 percent of Americans earning less than $30,000 per year owning a smartphone. (2)

Access to the Internet via a smartphone is particularly prevalent among lower-income individuals as a significantly lower percentage of this group has high-speed broadband connectivity at home. (3)

Given these trends, implementation of mobile-optimized, digitally driven benefits management for SNAP would enable richer and more convenient engagement with program participants. Leveraging a centralized user portal, this system would provide a one-stop, full-service destination for users to access their accounts and receive information on better eating...

To continue reading