oversight

Food Stamp Employment and Training Program: Better Data Needed to Understand Who Is Served and What the Program Achieves

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-03-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to Congressional Requesters




March 2003
             FOOD STAMP
             EMPLOYMENT AND
             TRAINING PROGRAM
             Better Data Needed to
             Understand Who Is
             Served and What the
             Program Achieves




GAO-03-388
                                                 March 2003


                                                 FOOD STAMP EMPLOYMENT AND
                                                 TRAINING PROGRAM

Highlights of GAO-03-388, a report to            Better Data Needed to Understand Who Is
Congressional Requesters.
                                                 Served and What the Program Achieves



Since the late 1990s, many funding               Food Stamp Employment and Training (E&T) participants are a small
changes have been made to the                    proportion of the food stamp population and do not usually receive cash
Food Stamp E&T Program. In                       assistance from other programs. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture
1997, legislation required states to             (USDA) does not collect nationwide data on the number and characteristics
spend 80 percent of their funds on               of Food Stamp E&T participants, program officials in the 15 states GAO
participants who lose their food
                                                 contacted described the population as generally hard to employ because
stamp benefits if they do not meet
work requirements within a limited               they have little education and a limited work history.
time frame. The legislation also
increased funds by $131 million to               States may provide program participants with a range of employment and
help states serve these participants.            training activities that qualify them for food stamp benefits. USDA data show
But spending rates for the program               that, in fiscal year 2001, job search accounted for about half of all participant
declined until, in 2001, states spent            activities. Work experience—whereby participants receive food stamp
only about 30 percent of the federal             benefits in exchange for work—accounted for about 25 percent. Food Stamp
allocation. In 2002, the Congress                E&T services are delivered through a variety of local entities, such as
reduced federal funds to $110                    welfare offices or one-stop centers—sites designed to streamline the
million a year. While it is too soon             services of many federal employment and training programs. While all but 1
to know the impact of these                      of the 15 states delivered at least some of their Food Stamp E&T services at
changes, GAO was asked to
determine whom the program
                                                 the one-stops, Food Stamp E&T participants do not usually engage in
serves, what services are provided,              intensive services provided by other programs at the one-stops. Program
and what is known about program                  officials from most of the 15 states noted that Food Stamp E&T participants
outcomes and effectiveness.                      generally lack basic skills that allow them to use other program services
                                                 successfully.

                                                 No nationwide data exist on whether the Food Stamp E&T Program helps
GAO is recommending that USDA                    participants get a job. While some outcome data exist at the state level, it is
collect nationwide data on program               not clear the outcomes were the result of program participation. USDA has
participants, require states to                  no plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the program nor have the
collect outcome measures, and                    Departments of Labor or Health and Human Services included Food Stamp
work with other agencies on a
                                                 E&T participants in their studies of the hardest-to-employ.
research agenda that will allow for
an effectiveness evaluation.
                                                 Food Stamp Recipients Subject to and Exempt from Work Requirements, FY 2001
                                                                                               Working age adults subject to work requirements (potential
In comments on a draft of GAO’s                                                                participants in the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program)
report, Food and Nutrition Service                                                                                    Exemption categories
officials agreed with the benefits of                                                                                 for working age adults
                                                                      9%
obtaining more information on
whom the program is serving and                                                                                      42%     Disabled
what it is achieving. However, they
expressed concern over the costs                                                30%            Working age adults            Caretaker of dependent
of implementing GAO’s                               51%                                                              25%     child under age 6
                                                                                               exempt from work
recommendations, particularly                                                                  requirements
                                                                                               (ages 18-59)          18%     Employed at least 30 hours per week
GAO’s recommendation related to
outcome data.                                                       10%                                              16%     Other
                                                                                               Over age 59
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-388.                                                         Under age 18

To view the full report, including the scope              Food stamp recipients subject to work requirements (1,556,000 recipients)
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Sigurd Nilsen at            Food stamp recipients exempted from work requirements (15,713,000 recipients)
202-512-7215 or nilsens@gas.gov.
                                                 Source: USDA.
Contents


Letter                                                                                              1
                       Results in Brief                                                             2
                       Background                                                                   4
                       Most States Provide Case Management Services and a Range of
                          Employment and Training Activities                                      19
                       Services Are Delivered through a Variety of Local Entities and Are
                          Not Necessarily Linked to Other Employment and Training
                          Programs                                                                26
                       Little Is Known about What the Program Achieves                            28
                       Conclusions                                                                31
                       Recommendations for Executive Action                                       32
                       Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                         32

Appendix I             Percent of Participants in the Food Stamp and Food
                       Stamp E&T Program by Age in Five States, Fiscal
                       Year 2001                                                                   35



Appendix II            Percent of Food Stamp E&T Activities Provided to
                       Program Participants, Fiscal Year 2001                                      36



Appendix III           Food Stamp E&T Expenditures and Allocations, by
                       State, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2003                                           38



Appendix IV            GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                      40
                       GAO Contacts                                                               40
                       Staff Acknowledgments                                                      40

Related GAO Products                                                                               41




                       Page i                   GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Table
          Table 1: Work Requirements for Nonexempt Food Stamp
                   Recipients                                                         7


Figures
          Figure 1: States’ Spending Levels for Food Stamp E&T Program,
                   Fiscal Year 2001                                                   9
          Figure 2: Funding Structure for Food Stamp E&T Program                     10
          Figure 3: Food Stamp Recipients Subject to and Exempt from
                   Work Requirements, Fiscal Year 2001                               13
          Figure 4: Number of States by Proportion of Food Stamp
                   Recipients Subject to Work Requirements and Who Are
                   Required to Participate in the Food Stamp E&T Program,
                   Fiscal Year 2001                                                 14
          Figure 5: Percent of Women in the Food Stamp Program and Food
                   Stamp E&T Program in Eight States, Fiscal Year 2001               16
          Figure 6: Proportion of ABAWDs in the Food Stamp E&T Program
                   in Eight States, Fiscal Year 2001                                18
          Figure 7: Proportion of Activities Engaged in by Food Stamp E&T
                   Participants, Fiscal Year 2001                                   21
          Figure 8: Proportion of Job Search Activities Provided by States,
                   Fiscal Year 2001                                                 22
          Figure 9: Proportion of Work Experience Activities Provided by
                   States, Fiscal Year 2001                                         23
          Figure 10: Proportion of Education and Training Activities
                   Provided by States, Fiscal Year 2001                              24




          Page ii                 GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Abbreviations

ABAWDs            able-bodied adults without dependents
BBA               Balanced Budget Act
E&T               Employment and Training
FNS               Food and Nutrition Service
GPRA              Government Performance and Results Act
HHS               Department of Health and Human Services
PRWORA            Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
                    Reconciliation Act
TANF              Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
USDA              U.S. Department of Agriculture
WIA               Workforce Investment Act




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Page iii                      GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   March 12, 2003

                                   The Honorable Tom Harkin
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
                                   United States Senate

                                   The Honorable Edward M. Kennedy
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
                                   United States Senate

                                   The Honorable Richard Lugar
                                   United States Senate

                                   In 1985, the Food Security Act established the Food Stamp Employment
                                   and Training (E&T) Program, administered by the U.S. Department of
                                   Agriculture (USDA), to assist food stamp recipients who are able-bodied
                                   gain skills to help them obtain employment. Since that time, many changes
                                   have been made to the program. In 1996, as part of welfare reform, the
                                   Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
                                   block grant to replace the previous welfare program and help welfare
                                   recipients’ transition into employment. Welfare reform also changed the
                                   Food Stamp E&T Program by limiting one group of program
                                   participants—able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs)—to
                                   3 months of food stamp benefits within a 36-month period unless they
                                   comply with work requirements. Legislation 1 year later required states to
                                   spend most of their federal funding on ABAWDs and increased funds by
                                   $131 million in fiscal year 1998 in order to help serve this group. After
                                   these changes, however, spending rates for the program declined until, in
                                   fiscal year 2001, states spent only about 30 percent of the federal
                                   allocation—raising questions about whom the program was serving and
                                   what the program was achieving. Most recently, the Congress passed the
                                   2002 Food Security and Rural Investment Act (the Farm Bill), reducing
                                   federal funds to $110 million a year and removing the requirement that
                                   states spend most of their federal funds on ABAWDs. It is unclear,
                                   however, what impact these changes will have on the program’s focus,
                                   services, or outcomes.

                                   While it is too soon to know the impact of recent legislative changes on
                                   how the program operates, you asked us to provide you with information


                                   Page 1                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                   on current program participants, services, and outcomes. Specifically, you
                   asked us to determine (1) the characteristics of Food Stamp E&T
                   participants, (2) the services states are providing to Food Stamp E&T
                   participants, (3) where services are delivered, and 4) what is currently
                   known about program outcomes and effectiveness.

                   To answer these questions, we analyzed the limited state and federal data
                   available on the characteristics of food stamp recipients and the outcomes
                   achieved in the Food Stamp E&T Program. To better understand how the
                   program operates, we conducted comprehensive site visits in 5 states and
                   interviewed state and local food stamp and workforce development
                   officials in 10 more states.1 In addition, we interviewed officials at USDA’s
                   Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and reviewed documents, including
                   state Food Stamp E&T Program plans for the 15 states for fiscal years
                   2001, 2002, and 2003. We conducted our work from March 2002 to
                   February 2003, in accordance with generally accepted government
                   auditing standards.


                   Food Stamp Employment and Training participants are a small
Results in Brief   proportion—less than 9 percent—of the food stamp population and they
                   do not usually receive cash assistance from other programs. In addition,
                   according to state and local program officials, Food Stamp E&T
                   participants have characteristics that make them hard to employ. While
                   USDA collects some nationwide data on the food stamp population for
                   quality control purposes, it does not collect the information in a way that
                   allows the agency to distinguish food stamp recipients participating in the
                   Food Stamp E&T Program from recipients who are participating in other
                   employment and training programs. However, the proportion of food
                   stamp recipients served by the Food Stamp E&T Program is small because
                   most food stamp recipients are exempt from food stamp work
                   requirements due to their age or health. While nationwide data on the
                   number and characteristics of Food Stamp E&T participants are not
                   available, state and local officials in the 15 states we reviewed described


                   1
                    We chose states for our site visits and telephone interviews based on criteria such as how
                   much federal funding the state was allocated in fiscal year 2001, what proportion of the
                   federal funding states expended, the number of people served in a state, and the state’s
                   geographic location. We selected our states to give us a range of funding levels,
                   expenditure rates, and participants served. States we visited were California, Colorado,
                   North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. We conducted telephone interviews with state and
                   local officials in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New
                   York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.




                   Page 2                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
the population as generally hard to employ because they have little
education, a limited work history, and are prone to substance abuse
problems and homelessness. The officials also noted that many of these
characteristics are more prevalent among ABAWDs than among other
Food Stamp E&T participants and that this group is the most difficult to
serve and employ.

Almost all states nationwide provide individualized case management
services to Food Stamp E&T participants and offer some support services,
according to USDA officials. While states may provide program
participants with a range of employment and training activities that qualify
them for food stamp benefits, states most often provide job search or
work experience activities—whereby participants receive food stamp
benefits in exchange for work in either the public or private sector. While
USDA does not require states to report individual participant activities, it
does collect data on the number of participants placed in each activity.
USDA’s data show that, in fiscal year 2001, job search accounted for about
half of all participant activities; work experience accounted for about
25 percent; and basic education and training to improve reading, math, and
language skills or to obtain a high school equivalency degree accounted
for about 8 percent.

In 13 of the 15 states we contacted, the agency that administers the TANF
block grant also oversees the Food Stamp E&T Program, but services are
delivered through a variety of local entities, such as welfare offices or one-
stop centers—sites designed to streamline the delivery of services for
many federal employment and training programs. While all but 1 of the
15 states we contacted delivered at least some of their Food Stamp E&T
services at the one-stops, the extent to which states use the one-stops to
deliver these services varies considerably. Even though Food Stamp E&T
participants may receive job search services at the one-stops, they do not
usually participate in other employment and training programs available
there, according to local officials from most of the states we contacted.
Officials from over half of the states we contacted suggested that because
Food Stamp E&T participants may be difficult to employ, local one-stop
staff might be reluctant to provide intensive services through other
employment and training programs, such as the Workforce Investment Act
Adult Program, out of concern that they would adversely affect the
program’s performance measures. In addition, officials from 12 states said
Food Stamp E&T participants generally are not ready for many program
services, such as training classes offered by programs at the one-stops
because they lack basic skills, such as reading and computer literacy, that
would allow them to use those services successfully. Despite these


Page 3                    GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
             concerns, officials from all 15 states said it could be advantageous to
             colocate the Food Stamp E&T Program at the one-stops where there
             would be a broader array of services and the potential for sharing program
             and staff resources.

             No nationwide data exist on whether the Food Stamp E&T Program is
             effective in helping participants get and keep employment. Although
             USDA does not require states to collect such information, about half of the
             15 states we contacted collected data on the number of participants who
             got a job—ranging from 15 percent in one state to 62 percent in another—
             and a few states collected data on starting wages. While some states
             collect outcome data, it remains unclear whether the outcomes were the
             direct result of program participation. In 1988, USDA commissioned a
             study to examine the program’s effectiveness and found that those who
             were required to enroll in the Food Stamp E&T Program did not fare any
             better in terms of employment or wages than those food stamp recipients
             who were excluded from participating. No study has been conducted since
             that time, and USDA has no plans to do another study, nor have the
             Departments of Labor or Health and Human Services specifically included
             Food Stamp E&T participants in their studies of the hardest-to-employ.

             In order to better understand the population that the Food Stamp E&T
             Program is serving, we are recommending that USDA collect the food
             stamp quality control data in a way that will allow the department to
             estimate the number and characteristics of those individuals participating.
             In addition, we are recommending that USDA require states to report on
             program outcomes and work with the Departments of Labor and Health
             and Human Services on a research agenda that will allow for an evaluation
             of the effectiveness of this program. While FNS generally agreed with the
             benefit of collecting more data on the Food Stamp E&T program, the
             agency had concerns that the potential benefits of such data may not be
             worth the effort or cost.


             Since the 1970s, a variety of work requirements have been tied to the
Background   receipt of food stamp benefits, including participation in the Food Stamp
             E&T Program. Funding for the program has been provided through a
             combination of federal grants to states, state funds, and federal matching
             funds. Under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, services for
             many other federally funded employment and training programs were
             coordinated through a single system—called the one-stop center system—
             but the Food Stamp E&T Program was not required to be part of this
             system.


             Page 4                   GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Food Stamp Program and      The Food Stamp Program, administered at the federal level by USDA,
Work Requirements           helps low-income individuals and families obtain a more nutritious diet by
                            supplementing their income with food stamp benefits. The states and FNS
                            jointly administer the Food Stamp Program. The federal government pays
                            the cost of food stamp benefits and 50 percent of the states’ administrative
                            costs. The states administer the program by determining whether
                            households meet the program’s income and asset requirements,
                            calculating monthly benefits for qualified households and issuing benefits
                            to participants. In fiscal year 2001, the Food Stamp Program served an
                            average of 17.3 million people per month and provided an average monthly
                            benefit of $75 per person.

                            Throughout the history of the Food Stamp Program, a variety of
                            employment and training requirements have been tied to the receipt of
                            food stamp benefits. The Food Stamp Program requires all recipients,
                            unless exempted by law, to register for work at the appropriate
                            employment office, participate in an employment and training program if
                            assigned by a state agency, and accept an offer of suitable employment.2
                            Food stamp recipients are exempted from registering for work and
                            engaging in employment and training activities if they are under age 16 or
                            over age 59 or physically or mentally unfit for employment. In addition,
                            they are exempted if they are caring for a child under the age of
                            6, employed 30 hours a week, or subject to and complying with work
                            requirements for other programs, such as those required by TANF. Still
                            others are exempted because they are receiving unemployment insurance
                            compensation, participating in a drug or alcohol treatment and
                            rehabilitation program, or are students enrolled at least half time.

The Food Stamp Employment   The Food Security Act of 1985 created the Food Stamp E&T Program to
and Training Program        help participants gain skills, training, or experience that will increase their
                            ability to obtain regular employment. The act requires each state to
                            operate a Food Stamp E&T Program with one or more of the following
                            employment and training activities: job search, job search training,
                            education, vocational training, or work experience. While the act
                            mandates that all nonexempt food stamp recipients register for work,
                            states have the flexibility to determine which local areas will operate a
                            Food Stamp E&T Program and, based on their own criteria, whether or



                            2
                             In addition, food stamp recipients who are not exempt are required to provide
                            information, if requested by the state agency, regarding employment status or availability
                            for work, and are to report to an employer identified by the state agency.




                            Page 5                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
not it is appropriate to refer these individuals to the Food Stamp E&T
Program.3

Since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, food stamp recipients aged
18-49, who are “able-bodied” and not responsible for a dependent child—
termed able-bodied adults without dependents or ABAWDs—have a time
limit for the receipt of food stamp benefits and specific work
requirements. PRWORA marked the first time that federal legislation
imposed a time limit on the receipt of benefits for any category of food
stamp recipients. Under PRWORA, ABAWDs are limited to 3 months of
food stamp benefits in a 36-month period unless they meet one of the
following ABAWD work requirements: participate in a qualifying work
activity 20 hours per week, work 20 hours per week, engage in any
combination of qualifying activities for a total of 20 hours per week, or
participate in a work experience program.4 Qualifying activities include
education, vocational training, or work experience. ABAWDs may engage
in job search or job search training activities within the first month of
participation in a work experience program. In addition, ABAWDs can
engage in job search activities as part of their work requirements as long
as job search does not account for more than half of the time they spend
engaged in qualified activities.

At the request of states, FNS may waive ABAWDs from the 3- out of
36-month requirement and the ABAWD work requirement if they live in an
area where the unemployment rate is over 10 percent or where the state
can document that there are not a sufficient number of jobs to provide
employment for these individuals. The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of
1997 allowed states to exempt an additional 15 percent of ABAWDs, also
from the time limit and ABAWD work requirements, based on criteria
developed by the state, such as participants in remote counties. However,
ABAWDs are still required to comply with Food Stamp Program
requirements, such as registering for work at an appropriate employment
office.




3
Food stamp recipients also may volunteer to participate in the Food Stamp E&T Program.
4
 ABAWDs may work less than 20 hours per week if engaged in a work experience program
whereby they are only required to work in exchange for food stamp benefits. By law, the
number of hours of participation in a work experience activity is limited to the household’s
food stamp benefit divided by a federal or state minimum wage—whichever one is higher.




Page 6                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Food Stamp E&T participants other than ABAWDs—including 16- or
17- year-old heads of households, individuals age 50-60, and individuals
age 18-49 who are responsible for a dependant age 6-17—must comply
with any Food Stamp E&T work requirement established by the state
where they reside. Some states maintain the same work requirements for
these participants as they do for ABAWDs. Other states may impose less
rigorous requirements, such as engaging in job search activities a few
hours a week. (See table 1.)

Table 1: Work Requirements for Nonexempt Food Stamp Recipients

                                                                Other mandatory work
                            ABAWDs                              registrants
    Characteristics         Able-bodied adult without           Head of household age 16 or
                            dependents, aged 18-49.             17, age 50-60, age 18-49
                                                                taking care of child over age 6.
    Benefits time limit     May only receive food stamp         May receive food stamp
                            benefits for 3 months out of 36     benefits as long as they remain
                            months if not complying with        eligible and comply with
                                                          a
                            ABAWD work requirements.            program requirements.
    Food Stamp E&T          20 hours per week of a              As assigned by state.
    work requirement        qualifying activity, working 20
                            hours per week, any
                            combination of working and
                            participating in a qualifying
                            activity 20 hours per week, or
                            participating in work experience
                            activities.
    Qualifying activities   Work experience activities,         Same as for ABAWDs, but also
                            education programs that directly    including job search and job
                            enhance employability, state or     search training.
                            local programs aimed at
                            accomplishing the same goals
                            as the Food Stamp E&T
                            Program, participating in a WIA-
                            funded program, self-
                            employment or training for self-
                            employment. Job search in
                            some circumstances, such as
                            within the first month of
                            participation in a work
                            experience activity.
Source: USDA.


a
 ABAWDs who have used their 3 months of benefits may regain subsequent eligibility by meeting
ABAWD work requirements in a 30-day period. If they fail again to meet work requirements, they
receive 3 months of consecutive food stamp benefits and are then no longer eligible for benefits
within the 36-month time frame.




Page 7                             GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Program Funding   Funding for the Food Stamp E&T Program has been provided through a
                  combination of federal grants to states, state funds, and federal matching
                  funds. USDA provides matching funds by reimbursing states 50 percent for
                  their program administrative costs. The agency also reimbursed states for
                  50 percent of support services—such as participant transportation—up to
                  $12.50 per participant per month.5 While this basic funding structure is still
                  in place, several changes have been made since the late 1990s. In response
                  to concerns over the ability of ABAWDs to meet the work requirements
                  imposed by PRWORA, the Balanced Budget Act authorized additional
                  federal grant funding each year between 1998 and 2002 for the Food Stamp
                  E&T Program. The additional funding ranged from $31 million in 1999 to
                  $131 million in 1998 and 2001.6 In order to access this additional funding,
                  the legislation required that states spend the same amount of state funds
                  on their Food Stamp E&T Program that they did in 1996—referred to as a
                  state’s maintenance-of-effort. In addition, the legislation required that
                  states spend at least 80 percent of their total federal grant funds on work
                  activities for ABAWDs.

                  States had the option to expend only 20 percent of their federal funds if
                  they chose not to focus services on ABAWDs. Between 1998 and
                  2001, states spent 40 percent or less of the federal allocation. In 2001, over
                  half of the states spent 25 percent or less of their federal grant allocation
                  while only eight states spent more than three-fourths of their allocation.
                  (See fig. 1.) These low spending rates may reflect both the rapid decline in
                  the number of ABAWDs participating in the Food Stamp Program, as well
                  as states’ decisions about how to structure their programs.7




                  5
                   States provide participants with support to help pay for dependent care. The federal
                  government reimburses state Food Stamp E&T Programs for 50 percent of dependent care
                  costs, and states are required to provide dependent care services to eligible participants.
                  However, mandatory Food Stamp E&T participants may be exempted from participating in
                  the program if their work-related monthly expenses exceed the allowable reimbursement
                  amount.
                  6
                   Although the BBA originally provided for $131 million each year, a subsequent provision
                  changed the amount for fiscal year 1999 to $31 million and to $86 million for fiscal year
                  2000.
                  7
                  See U.S. General Accounting Office, Food Stamp Program: Implementation of the
                  Employment and Training Program for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents,
                  GAO-01-391R (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 27, 2001).




                  Page 8                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 1: States’ Spending Levels for Food Stamp E&T Program, Fiscal Year 2001

35 Number of states
         31
30


25


20


15


10
                  8                      8


 5
                            3


 0


       1-25     26-50     51-75        76-100
     Percentage of allocations spent
Source: USDA.

Note: GAO analysis based on USDA data.


The 2002 Farm Bill repealed some of the funding provisions enacted by the
Balanced Budget Act. The bill eliminated the additional BBA funds for
2002 and provided $90 million for each year between 2002-2007. In
addition, the bill provided an additional $20 million in each of these years
for states that provide a work activity to every ABAWD who would
otherwise be subject to the 3- out of 36-month time limit. Fiscal year
2001 and unspent prior year funds were rescinded, unless states already
had obligated them. The Farm Bill also repealed the requirement that
states meet their maintenance-of-effort requirement. In addition, states no
longer have to spend 80 percent of federal grant funds on work activities
for ABAWDs. However, the Farm Bill did not eliminate the 3- out of
36-month time limit for benefits or alter the work requirements for
ABAWDs. States continue to receive the 50-percent matching federal funds
for program administrative costs, and the Farm Bill eliminated the cap on
reimbursements to states for support services, such as transportation,
allowing states to be reimbursed for 50 percent of all support service
expenses. (See fig. 2.)




Page 9                                 GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 2: Funding Structure for Food Stamp E&T Program




                                                                               ill                                                   2002 Farm B
                                                               2 Farm B                                                                                  ill
                                                  Pre-200                                                            Federal funds
                                                             ds                                                      ($110 million
                                                                                                                                   in
                                            grant fun                         001)                                                      fiscal year 20
                                 Federal n in fiscal year 2                                                                                           03)
                                          ill io                                                                     Eliminated ad
                                 ($88 m                                                                                            ditional BBA
                                                                                                                                                  funds
      Federal ds                                                 nds
                                               al BBA fu al year 2001)
          n t fu n                Addition               in   fi s c
      gra                         ($131 m
                                               illio  n
                                                                                                                    Requirement
                                                                                           nt of                                  repealed
                                                                               80 perce               s
                                                    q u ir e d   to spend vities for ABAWD
                                   States re nt funds on acti
                                                    ra
                                    federal g
       ABAWD                                                                                                       No change
                 g                                                                          tates
        fundin                                                                   burses s
                                                  l  g o v e rn   ment reim ve costs
                                     Federa t of administra                     ti
                                                      n
                     tr a ti v e      50 perce
         A d  m in is                                                                               for           Federal gove
                                                                                        ed states                              rnm
                                                                                                                  states 50 perc ent continues to reimburs
         funds                                               e  rn  m  e n t reimburs -not to                                   ent, but $12.50              e
                                                       gov                           ices
                                       Federal t of support serv t per month                                                                    cap is eliminat
                                                                                                                                                                ed
                                                         n                            an
                                       50 perce 2.50 per particip
                                        exceed $1
          Support funds                                                                 fiscal yea
                                                                                                   r 1996        Requirement
                                                                                                                               repealed
           services                                         qu   ir e d to  maintain ess additional
                                                                                       cc
                                         States re te spending to a
                                                            ta                     h BBA
                                          level of s                     th ro u g
                                                            ailable
                                           funds av
                State
                           ance
                mainten
                of effo r t




Source: USDA.



The Workforce Investment                                           The Workforce Investment Act, which was passed in 1998, requires states
System                                                             and localities to coordinate many federally funded employment and
                                                                   training services through a single system, called the one-stop center
                                                                   system. Through one-stop centers, individuals can access a range of
                                                                   services, including job search activities and employment-related activities.
                                                                   WIA mandated that 17 categories of federal employment and training
                                                                   programs across four federal agencies be coordinated through the one-
                                                                   stop system, including three WIA-funded programs—WIA Adult, WIA




                                                                   Page 10                                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                            Dislocated Worker, and WIA Youth.8 These programs provide three tiers,
                            or levels, of service for adults and dislocated workers: core, intensive, and
                            training. Core services include basic services such as job searches and
                            labor market information and are available to anyone coming into a one-
                            stop center. These activities may be self-service or require some staff
                            assistance. Intensive services include such activities as comprehensive
                            assessment and case management—activities that require greater staff
                            involvement. Training services include such activities as occupational
                            skills or on-the-job training.

                            Coordination between the 17 programs generally takes one of two forms:
                            colocation, whereby clients access employment and training services at a
                            local one-stop, or through referrals and electronic linkages to off-site
                            programs. While other employment and training programs, such as TANF
                            and the Food Stamp E&T Program, are not required to be a part of the
                            one-stop system, some states have required localities to include these
                            programs in the one-stop system.


Food Stamp E&T              The Food Stamp E&T Program serves a small proportion of the food
Participants Usually Are    stamp population who do not usually receive assistance from other
Not Served by Other         programs and who, according to state and local program officials, have
                            characteristics that make them hard to employ. While USDA collects some
Programs and Have           nationwide data on the food stamp population for quality control
Characteristics That Make   purposes, it does not collect the information in a way that allows the
Obtaining Employment        agency to distinguish food stamp recipients participating in the Food
Difficult                   Stamp E&T Program from recipients who are participating in other
                            employment and training programs, such as TANF or WIA. However,
                            because most food stamp recipients are exempt from food stamp work
                            requirements due to their age or health, the proportion of food stamp
                            recipients potentially served by the Food Stamp E&T Program is small.
                            While nationwide data on the number of and characteristics of Food
                            Stamp E&T participants are not available, state and local officials in the


                            8
                             The WIA Adult, WIA Dislocated Worker, and WIA Youth programs replaced those
                            previously funded under the Job Training Partnership Act. The other programs include
                            Employment Service (Wagner-Peyser), Trade Adjustment Assistance Programs, Veterans’
                            Employment and Training Programs, Unemployment Insurance, Job Corps, Welfare-to-
                            Work Grant-Funded Programs, Senior Community Service Employment Program,
                            Employment and Training for Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers, Employment and
                            Training for Native Americans, Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Adult Education and
                            Literacy, Vocational Education (Perkins Act), Community Services Block Grant, and HUD-
                            Administered Employment and Training.




                            Page 11                      GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                           15 states we reviewed described the population as generally hard to
                           employ because they have little education, a limited work history, and are
                           prone to substance abuse problems and homelessness. The officials also
                           noted that many of these characteristics are more prevalent among
                           ABAWDs and that this group is the most difficult to serve and employ.


Food Stamp E&T             Food Stamp E&T participants comprise less than 9 percent of the food
Participants Are a Small   stamp population because most food stamp recipients are exempted from
Proportion of the Food     work requirements, such as registering for work or participating in the
                           Food Stamp E&T Program. In fiscal year 2001, 91 percent of food stamp
Stamp Population and       recipients were not required to meet work requirements. Over 60 percent
Usually Receive Benefits   were exempted due to their age—most were under 18 or over 59 (see fig.
Only from the Food Stamp   3). Another 30 percent of food stamp recipients—working age adults—
Program                    were exempted, over 40 percent of whom were disabled. Other working
                           age adults were exempted because they were caring for a dependent child
                           under age 6 or because they were working at least 30 hours per week.
                           Working age adults may also have been exempted because they were
                           already complying with work requirements of other programs, such as
                           TANF. Food stamp recipients who participate in key federal cash
                           assistance programs—such as TANF, Supplemental Security Income,9 or
                           Unemployment Insurance Program—are exempt from the Food Stamp
                           E&T Program. As a result, those who participate in the Food Stamp E&T
                           Program generally do not receive any federal public cash assistance other
                           than food stamps.




                           9
                            Supplemental Security Income provides income assistance for aged, blind, or disabled
                           individuals whose income and resources fall below a certain threshold. Unemployment
                           Insurance provides temporary cash benefits to workers who lose their jobs through no
                           fault of their own and requires recipients to enroll in employment services or a job-training
                           program as a condition of eligibility.




                           Page 12                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 3: Food Stamp Recipients Subject to and Exempt from Work Requirements, Fiscal Year 2001

                                              Working age adults subject to work
                                              requirements (potential participants in
                                              the Food Stamp Employment and Training
                                              Program)
                                                                      Exemption categories for working age adults
                      9%

                                                                                42%        Disabled




      51%                       30%           Working age adults                25%        Caretaker of dependent child under age 6
                                              exempt from work
                                              requirements
                                              (ages 18-59)                      18%        Employed at least 30 hours per week

                                                                                16%        Otherb
                    10%
                                              Over age 59a
                                              Under age 18a

                                                 Food stamp recipients subject to work requirements (1,556,000 recipients)

                                                 Food stamp recipients exempted from work requirements (15,713,000 recipients)

Source: USDA.

                                       Note: GAO analysis of USDA data. Data excluded for food stamp recipients whose age and work
                                       requirement status was unknown. Percents may not add to 100% due to rounding.
                                       a
                                        Exempt from work requirements due to age.
                                       b
                                        “Other” category includes working age adults exempted from work requirements because they were
                                       complying with work requirements for another program, such as TANF, or were enrolled at least part
                                       time in school or a training program.


                                       Not all food stamp recipients subject to work requirements participate in
                                       the Food Stamp E&T Program. States have the flexibility to establish their
                                       own criteria for selecting which food stamp recipients are referred to the
                                       program. As a result of this flexibility, in 17 of the 50 states, according to
                                       USDA data, over 80 percent of food stamp recipients who were subject to
                                       work requirements—including ABAWDs and other mandatory work
                                       registrants—were required to participate in the program. However,
                                       8 states required 20 percent or less to participate. (See fig. 4.)




                                       Page 13                              GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                            Figure 4: Number of States by Proportion of Food Stamp Recipients Subject to
                            Work Requirements and Who Are Required to Participate in the Food Stamp E&T
                            Program, Fiscal Year 2001

                            18 Number of states                           17

                            16

                            14

                            12
                                             10
                            10                                   9
                                    8
                             8
                                                       6
                             6

                             4

                             2

                             0


                                  0-20      21-40    41-60     61-80    81-100
                                 Percent required to participate in the Food Stamp E&T Program
                            Source: USDA.

                            Note: GAO analysis of USDA data.


No National Data Exist,     While USDA collects nationwide data on the food stamp population for
but Officials Said Food     quality control purposes, the agency does not collect the information in a
Stamp E&T Participants      way that identifies the specific employment and training program in which
                            food stamp recipients are participating.10 Although data from the fiscal
Have Many Characteristics   year 2001 quality control survey indicate that 8 percent of food stamp
That Make Employment        recipients are participating as mandatory participants in an employment
Difficult                   and training program, USDA officials said questions in this survey
                            regarding program participation do not specify a particular program.
                            Rather, questions are general and could refer to the Food Stamp E&T
                            Program or other employment and training programs such as TANF and



                            10
                             USDA’s Quality Control survey is a nationally representative sample of food stamp
                            households selected for review as part of the Food Stamp Program Quality Control System.
                            Data gathered from the quality control survey are used to determine if households are
                            eligible to participate or are receiving the correct benefit amount and if household
                            participation is correctly denied or terminated. The survey also provides detailed
                            demographic and economic information on food stamp participants sampled in each month
                            and is published in FNS’ annual report, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households.




                            Page 14                            GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
WIA-funded programs. As a result, the agency is unable to identify food
stamp recipients active in the Food Stamp E&T Program from food stamp
recipients active in other employment and training programs. This
prevents the agency from using the quality control survey to estimate the
number or provide characteristics of Food Stamp E&T participants.

While there are no nationwide data on the characteristics of Food Stamp
E&T participants, state and local officials we spoke with in all 15 states
said their Food Stamp E&T participants have multiple characteristics that
make them hard to employ. Officials noted that Food Stamp E&T
participants generally have limited education; often they have not
completed high school. They also said that program participants
frequently have a limited work history and few work skills. They noted
that Food Stamp E&T participants often depend on seasonal employment
such as tourism-related jobs, and at least one official said that many of
their participants rarely hold a job for more than 3 months. Program
officials also told us that participants, particularly those in rural settings,
often lack transportation, making their continued employment difficult.
Finally, officials identified mental health issues, substance abuse, and
homelessness as additional characteristics making participants hard to
employ. Officials from Colorado estimated, for example, that at least
40 percent of their Food Stamp E&T participants had substance abuse
problems and 40 percent were homeless.

In addition to providing anecdotal information on Food Stamp E&T
participants, some states were able to provide quantitative data on a
limited number of participant characteristics. While not required to collect
or report these data to USDA, 8 of 15 states we contacted collected data
on the gender, age, or income of Food Stamp E&T participants. In 6 of the
8 states, Food Stamp E&T participants were predominantly women—as
were the majority of Food Stamp recipients—(see fig. 5) and data from
5 states show that most of their participants are between the ages of
18 and 40. (See app. I for a comparison of food stamp recipients and Food
Stamp E&T participants by age.) Similar to all food stamp recipients, Food
Stamp E&T participants generally have very low incomes. Three states
provided us with data on participant incomes. Officials from California
said the majority of their participants had incomes less than $800 per
month, and officials from Colorado and Illinois said most participants have
incomes less than $200 per month.




Page 15                   GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 5: Percent of Women in the Food Stamp Program and Food Stamp E&T
Program in Eight States, Fiscal Year 2001



        Illinois




       Floridaa




         Texas




      Colorado




    New Mexico




Pennsylvania




         Idaho




     California



                   0       10         20      30        40       50         60        70         80
                   Percent of women


                          Women in Food Stamp E&T Program

                          Women in Food Stamp Program

Source: USDA and state data.

Note: GAO analysis of USDA and state data.
a
 We were unable to obtain unduplicated data for fiscal year 2001 from Florida. To accommodate our
request, Florida submitted data for January and July of fiscal year 2001. These months were selected
in order to control for seasonal variations. Data from the 2 months were used to project for the entire
fiscal year.




Page 16                               GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Able-Bodied Adults       According to officials from 8 of the 15 states we contacted, ABAWDs—
Without Dependents Are   who comprised 4 percent of the food stamp population nationwide in
Usually the Hardest to   fiscal year 2001—have characteristics that make them the most difficult to
                         serve and employ of all Food Stamp E&T participants. While a nationwide
Serve and Employ         estimate of the number of ABAWDs participating in the Food Stamp E&T
                         Program is not known, 8 states were able to provide data on the
                         proportion of participants who were ABAWDs. The proportion varied
                         greatly from 1 percent in New Mexico to 100 percent in Florida and
                         Illinois. (See fig. 6.) Program officials said that ABAWDs—who are most
                         often men—are more likely to lack basic skills such as reading, writing,
                         and basic mathematics than other food stamp participants. In addition,
                         officials said mental health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness are
                         more prevalent among ABAWDs than other participants. A recent report
                         cites these three characteristics as among the most common barriers to
                         serving ABAWDs.11 The report also concludes that ABAWDs have less
                         income—earned and unearned—than other food stamp recipients age
                         18 to 49.




                         11
                          USDA report submitted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Imposing a Time Limit
                         on Food Stamp Receipt: Implementation of the Provisions and Effects on Food Stamp
                         Program Participation, Volume I, Final Report, (Sept. 4, 2001).




                         Page 17                     GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 6: Proportion of ABAWDs in the Food Stamp E&T Program in Eight States,
Fiscal Year 2001

                                                                100%      100%
100      Percent of ABAWDs



    80


                                                       64%
    60


                                              41%
    40

                                      25%

    20
                               14%

                      5%
             1%
     0


                           a
            N.Mex.    Mo.      Pa.     Va.    Colo.    Tex.      Fla.       ll.
         States
Source: State data.
a
 We were unable to obtain unduplicated data for fiscal year 2001 from Missouri. To accommodate our
request, Missouri submitted data for January and July of fiscal year 2001. These months were
selected in order to control for seasonal variations. Data from the 2 months were used to project for
the entire year.


While the characteristics that make Food Stamp E&T participants hard to
employ are more pronounced among ABAWDs, this group also presents
unique challenges that add to the difficulties of serving them. First,
ABAWDS are usually transient and, as a result, often only participate in
the program for short durations. Moreover, officials also said ABAWDs are
often unwilling to participate and frequently fail to show up for
appointments. Some officials suggested that this unwillingness to
participate stems partly from ABAWDs’ perception that their benefit
level—an average of $118 of food stamp benefits per month—is too low to
warrant participation in the program.

Officials we spoke with and a recent report12 note that monitoring the
activities of ABAWDs has been difficult due to the complexities of
program requirements. For example, in order to determine whether


12
    Ibid.




Page 18                              GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                           ABAWDs may continue to receive food stamp benefits, states track
                           ABAWDs to ensure that they are engaged in a qualifying work activity.
                           ABAWDs may only receive benefits for 3 out of 36 months if they are not
                           engaged in a qualifying work activity. Program officials said these
                           requirements, in combination with ABAWDs’ sporadic participation in the
                           program and reluctance to participate, discourage states from using their
                           Food Stamp E&T resources to serve these individuals. In 2001, 25 states
                           spent 20 percent or less of their federal grant allocation. Eight of the
                           25 states chose not to serve ABAWDs and as a result, were limited to
                           spending only 20 percent of their federal grant funds. The other 17 states
                           also spent 20 percent or less but may have served ABAWDs as well as
                           other mandatory participants. While the 2002 Farm Bill removed the
                           requirement that states spend 80 percent of federal grant funds on work
                           activities for ABAWDs, states must still track ABAWD compliance with the
                           3- out of 36-month time limit.


                           States provide Food Stamp E&T participants with case management
Most States Provide        services and offer some support services, such as transportation
Case Management            assistance. While states may provide participants with a range of
                           employment and training activities, in 2001, states most often placed
Services and a Range       participants in job search and work experience. Other programs that serve
of Employment and          low-income populations, such as TANF and the WIA Adult Program,
                           provide similar activities. Legislative changes in the 2002 Farm Bill,
Training Activities        however, may affect services that states provide to Food Stamp E&T
                           participants.

Most States Provide Case   According to USDA officials, most states provide Food Stamp E&T
Management and Some        participants with case management services. Case management services
Support Services           may include assessing a participant’s needs, developing an employment
                           plan, or helping participants’ access services provided by other programs.
                           For example, one state official told us that case managers work with
                           participants and local housing organizations to help find shelter for the
                           participants or get mental health services so they are ready to go to work.
                           Case managers also work with Food Stamp E&T participants to help them
                           access support services—services that provide assistance with
                           transportation and work or education-related expenses. USDA data show




                           Page 19                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                             that in fiscal year 2001 45 states provided transportation funds to Food
                             Stamp E&T participants.13

                             In addition to basic transportation and other services paid for in part with
                             federal grant funds, program officials told us some local Food Stamp E&T
                             Programs provide participants with additional support services. Some
                             local programs use state funds or coordinate with community-based
                             organizations to obtain other services for participants. For example, one
                             local Food Stamp E&T Program provides bicycles donated by a
                             community-based organization to some participants who need
                             transportation to get to work, while another provides basic hygiene
                             products, such as soap and shampoo, because food stamp recipients may
                             not use food stamp benefits to buy these products.


States Assign Participants   While most Food Stamp E&T participants receive case management
to a Range of Employment     services, they also may engage in a range of employment and training
and Training Activities      activities to qualify for food stamp benefits. These include job search, job
                             search training, work experience, education, and vocational training.
                             Participants may also enroll in WIA or a Trade Adjustment Act-funded
                             program.14 Job search activities may include self-directed or staff-assisted
                             activities. Job search training activities include job skills assessment and
                             participation in job clubs, wherein participants meet with other job
                             seekers and local employers to obtain information on the jobs available in
                             the area and assistance in marketing their skills. Participants engaged in
                             work experience activities are required to work without pay in exchange
                             for food stamp benefits. Education activities may include literacy training,
                             high school equivalency programs, or postsecondary education, while
                             vocational training provides skill-related training.

                             While USDA does not require states to report individual participant
                             activities, it does collect data on the number of participants placed in each
                             activity. In fiscal year 2001, 40 of the 50 states provided data to USDA for




                             13
                               In addition, in fiscal year 2001, 34 states did not spend any money on dependent care. Of
                             the remaining 16 states, all but 2 spent less than $150,000.
                             14
                              The WIA or Trade Adjustment Assistance programs may provide classroom training in
                             occupational skills, on-the-job training in subsidized employment, worker training, or adult
                             education classes. The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program provides worker training and
                             readjustment assistance to workers who have become unemployed due to plant closings.




                             Page 20                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
participant employment and training activities.15 The data show that case
managers most frequently assigned Food Stamp E&T participants to job
search activities, including job search and job search training. (See fig. 7.)
However, while job search accounted for about 49 percent of participant
activities, the extent to which states provided job search activities varied.
(See fig. 8.) For example, 2 states did not report offering any job search
activities to participants, while in 11 of the 40 states, job search activities
accounted for almost all of participant activities. (See app. II for a
complete listing of the percent of program activities provided to
participants.)

Figure 7: Proportion of Activities Engaged in by Food Stamp E&T Participants,
Fiscal Year 2001


                                                  Education/Training
                      7.5%


                              16.7%               Other


        49.2%


                            26.5%                 Work experience




                                                  Job search
Source: USDA.

Note: GAO analysis of data provided by 40 states to USDA.




15
  While federal regulations require states to provide USDA with the number of participants
placed in each employment and training component offered by the state, USDA reported
that only 40 states provided these data in fiscal year 2001. A USDA official noted that the
agency plans to work with states to ensure the data are reported.




Page 21                         GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 8: Proportion of Job Search Activities Provided by States, Fiscal Year 2001




Note: GAO analysis of data provided by 40 states to USDA.


Work experience activities accounted for about a quarter of all Food
Stamp E&T activities in fiscal year 2001. In six states, work experience
activities accounted for over half of all activities. (See fig. 9.) Participants
may engage in work experience activities with either public or private
employers. In Texas, all work experience positions were with public
employers—city, county, or state government. In Colorado, participants
had the option of working with either a private nonprofit or public
employer. Thirteen states did not offer any work experience activities to
participants.




Page 22                         GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 9: Proportion of Work Experience Activities Provided by States, Fiscal Year
2001

20 Number of states



                  15
15
        13



10


                                6
                                     5
 5


                                              1

 0

        0        1-25      26-50    51-75   76-100
     Percentage of activities
Source: USDA.

Note: GAO analysis of data provided by 40 states to USDA.


Food Stamp E&T participants are engaged in education and training
activities much less often than in job search or work experience activities.
In fiscal year 2001, education and training activities accounted for about
8 percent of participant activities. Education and training activities for
Food Stamp E&T participants include vocational education classes, adult
basic education classes, English as a second language classes, high school
equivalency preparation, or participation in a WIA-funded program. The
extent to which states provided education and training activities varied
across states. In Pennsylvania, for example, education and training
activities accounted for almost half of Food Stamp E&T participants’
activities, while in 13 states, participants did not receive any of these
activities (see fig. 10).




Page 23                             GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
Figure 10: Proportion of Education and Training Activities Provided by States,
Fiscal Year 2001

25 Number of states



                  20
20



15
       13


10



 5                              4
                                     3


 0


        0        1-10      11-20    21-50
     Percentage of activities
Source: USDA.

Note: GAO analysis of data provided by 40 states to USDA.


State and local officials we spoke with had a range of views on which
activities were more likely to help Food Stamp E&T participants get jobs.
Officials from five states told us that participants in their program are
more likely to find jobs while enrolled in job search, while officials from
eight states told us that in their experience, participants who receive a
combination of services tailored to their individual needs are more likely
to find jobs. However, officials in two states told us Food Stamp E&T
participants may be reluctant to enroll in education and training activities
because they want to get a job immediately and are not interested in
training. In addition, a few officials told us they would like to offer more
education and training options to participants but lacked the funding to
support it.

Other programs that serve low-income individuals and families also offer
education and training activities, in addition to services similar to those
provided by the Food Stamp E&T Program. For example, in fiscal year
2000, almost half of TANF participants were enrolled in work experience




Page 24                             GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                              activities, over 40 percent were enrolled in job search activities,16 and over
                              20 percent were enrolled in education and training activities.17 Some of the
                              WIA Adult Program’s core services are the same as those provided to Food
                              Stamp E&T participants, such as job search. However, services offered
                              under WIA Adult intensive and training tiers involve greater staff
                              involvement and provide more comprehensive activities than those
                              provided under the core tier. Fifty-five percent of participants enrolled in
                              the WIA Adult Program in program year 2000 (July 2000 to June 2001)
                              participated in intensive and training activities. Other WIA Adult
                              participants receiving intensive and training services may be receiving
                              skills assessment, individualized counseling and case management, and
                              short-term prevocational services, such as computer training.


Legislative Changes May       Legislative changes enacted by the 2002 Farm Bill may affect the services
Affect Services Provided to   that states provide to program participants by reducing the total amount of
Participants                  Food Stamp E&T federal funds available to states to $110 million—or
                              $274 million lower than funds they had available in fiscal year 2001.18 As a
                              result, most states will receive a smaller allocation in 2003 than they
                              received in 2001, although 4 states will receive a greater allocation, in part
                              due to changes in USDA’s funding formula.19 However, this funding
                              decrease may have a greater impact on some states than others because
                              not all states have been spending a large proportion of their federal grant
                              allocation. For example, in 2001, more than half of the states spent less
                              than 25 percent of their allocation, while only 8 states spent more than


                              16
                               Unsubsidized work counts as a qualifying activity for TANF participants. Food Stamp
                              participants engaged in unsubsidized work at least 30 hours per week are exempt from
                              participating in the Food Stamp E&T Program. In order to compare similar subsets of the
                              Food Stamp E&T and the TANF activities, we excluded unsubsidized work activities for
                              TANF participants and calculated percentages based on the remaining activities.
                              17
                               Participants may be enrolled in more than one activity.
                              18
                               In fiscal year 2001, $88 million in federal grants, about $126 million in BBA funds, and
                              about $170 million in carryover funds from prior years were available to the states. The
                              2002 Farm Bill rescinded carryover funds from any fiscal year before fiscal year 2002,
                              unless obligated by a state agency before that date.
                              19
                                USDA allocated fiscal year 2001 federal grant funds based on the number of ABAWDs in a
                              state, as determined by 1996 quality control data—adjusted over time for caseload changes.
                              USDA allocated fiscal year 2003 federal grant funds based on the number of ABAWDs in a
                              state as determined by the 2001 Mathematica study; the number of work registrants
                              determined by fiscal year 2001 quality control data; and the number of work registrants in
                              fiscal year 2001 based on state data submitted to USDA. USDA fiscal year 2003 allocations
                              assume full funding for the Food Stamp E&T Program.




                              Page 25                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                        75 percent. As a result of the funding decrease and states’ varied spending
                        rates, about one-third of the states will receive a smaller allocation in
                        2003 than they spent in 2001. (See app. III for a comparison of what states
                        spent in fiscal year 2001 and their allocations in fiscal years 2001 and
                        2003.) However, because the Farm Bill also eliminated the requirement
                        that states reserve 80 percent of federal grant funds for activities for
                        ABAWDs, states may choose to spend as much of their federal allocation
                        as they did before the requirement became effective in 1998. For example,
                        in 1997, 46 states spent more than 75 percent of their allocation, with
                        states spending 94 percent of the total federal allocation.


                        In 13 of the 15 states we contacted, the agency that administers the TANF
Services Are            block grant also oversees the Food Stamp E&T Program; in the 2 other
Delivered through a     states, the Food Stamp E&T Program is administered by the workforce
                        development system. However, services are provided through a variety of
Variety of Local        local entities, including welfare offices and one-stop centers. While all but
Entities and Are Not    1 of the states we contacted delivered at least some of their Food Stamp
                        E&T services at the one-stops, the extent to which states use the one-stops
Necessarily Linked to   to deliver these services varies considerably. For example, in Virginia, only
Other Employment        two Food Stamp E&T Programs are colocated at the one-stops. In other
and Training            counties, services are delivered at welfare offices. In Colorado, about one-
                        third of the counties that provide Food Stamp E&T services—primarily the
Programs                larger counties—deliver their Food Stamp E&T services through the one-
                        stops. Other counties in Colorado deliver services through local welfare
                        agencies or community-based organizations, such as Goodwill Industries.
                        In Texas, the state’s workforce commission administers the Food Stamp
                        E&T Program, and all program services statewide are delivered through
                        the one-stop system.

                        Food Stamp E&T participants may receive job search services through the
                        one-stop centers, but according to many local program officials, few
                        participants receive other services from employment and training
                        programs available at the centers, such as the WIA Adult Program. In
                        Pennsylvania, Food Stamp E&T participants are referred to the one-stops
                        for job search activities,20 and in Vermont, almost all participants receive
                        WIA-funded core services through the one-stop system. These services
                        may include job search activities but may also include a preliminary



                        20
                         In addition to one-stop centers, Pennsylvania has job service centers that provide job
                        search services but have not yet been certified as one-stop centers.




                        Page 26                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
assessment of skills and needs. Most state officials told us that they did
not collect data on how many Food Stamp E&T participants were referred
to or received services from other employment and training programs at
the one-stops. However, local officials in 10 of the 15 states told us that
few, if any Food Stamp E&T participants actually receive services from
other employment and training programs at the one-stops, and a few
provided estimates. For example, a local official in New Mexico estimated
that his office referred about one-fourth of its Food Stamp E&T
participants to the WIA Adult Program in any given year, but less than half
of these are actually enrolled in the program. Local officials in Idaho, by
comparison, said that while about one-third of their Food Stamp E&T
participants are referred in any given year, only about 2 percent are
enrolled in WIA-funded intensive or training services.21 A Food Stamp E&T
administrator in Michigan told us that, even though the Food Stamp E&T
Program is colocated at a one-stop center in his county, the center served
only three or four clients a year.

Program officials cited several reasons that Food Stamp E&T participants
may not receive services from other employment and training programs.
Officials from eight of the states we spoke with suggested that local WIA
staff might be reluctant to provide WIA-funded intensive and training
services to a population less likely to get and keep a job—such as those in
the Food Stamp E&T Program—out of concern that they would adversely
affect their performance as measured under WIA. While job seekers who
receive core services that are self-service in nature are not included in
these performance measures, participants enrolled in WIA-funded
intensive or training programs are tracked in areas such as job placement,
retention, and earnings change. WIA established these performance
measures, and states are held accountable by the U.S. Department of
Labor for their performance in these areas. If states fail to meet their
expected performance levels, they may suffer financial sanctions; if states
meet or exceed their levels, they may be eligible to receive additional
funds.

While employment and training programs at the one-stops offer some of
the activities that Food Stamp E&T participants need, officials from 12 of
the 15 states we contacted told us that most participants are not ready for


21
 WIA intensive services include such activities as comprehensive assessment, case
management, creation of an individual employment plan, and short-term prevocational
services that prepare individuals for employment or training. Training services include
such activities as occupational skill, on-the-job training, and literacy classes.




Page 27                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                        these activities, in part, because they lack basic skills (such as reading and
                        computer literacy) that would allow them to successfully participate.
                        Officials from 5 states also noted that mental health problems often
                        prevent Food Stamp E&T participants from participating in other more
                        intensive employment and training programs at the one-stops. Program
                        officials told us participants often need specialized case management
                        services that might not be available from other program staff.

                        Despite concerns about performance measures and the skill level of Food
                        Stamp E&T participants, program officials from all 15 states we contacted
                        cited advantages to colocating the Food Stamp E&T Program at the one-
                        stops. The most frequently cited advantage was that Food Stamp E&T
                        participants would benefit from having access to a broader array of
                        employment and training services. In addition, officials from 9 of the states
                        noted that colocation would provide a better use of program resources
                        and staff, and program officials from 8 states said that the one-stops offer
                        a more positive environment—one focused more on work and training
                        than might be found in local welfare offices. Finally, officials from 7 states
                        said that for those who may lack transportation, colocation of services
                        would be advantageous.


                        Little information is available about whether the Food Stamp E&T
Little Is Known about   Program is effective in helping participants get and keep a job. Although
What the Program        USDA does not require the reporting of outcome data, 7 of the 15 states we
                        contacted collected data in fiscal year 2001 on job placements, and 2 of
Achieves                these states also collected data on wages. Their job placement rates
                        ranged from 15 percent in one state to 62 percent in another,22 and the
                        average starting wages reported by the 2 states was about $7.00 per hour
                        or about $1.91 above the federal minimum wage.

                        In the late 1980s, USDA developed outcome measures for the Food Stamp
                        E&T Program, but these measures were not implemented because of
                        concerns among state and federal officials regarding the feasibility of


                        22
                          We calculated job placement rates in these seven states based on data provided to us by
                        the states or data contained in a state’s 2002 Food Stamp E&T plan. For five states, job
                        placements included those individuals entering full-time and part-time employment. In
                        another state, job placements were collected monthly, but state officials told us that
                        individuals could be counted in more than one month. In order to minimize counting job
                        placement of individuals more than once, we estimated job placements based on
                        2 months—January and July. These months were selected in order to control of seasonal
                        variations. And, one state only provided data for three- quarters of fiscal year 2001.




                        Page 28                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
collecting outcome data. In 1988, the Hunger Prevention Act directed the
Secretary of Agriculture to work with states and other federal agencies to
develop outcome-based performance standards for the program. The
proposed measures included a targeted job placement rate (25 percent of
those completing Food Stamp E&T activities) and a targeted average
starting wage of $4.45—about the same as the minimum wage in the early
1990s.23 FNS published the proposed performance standards in
1991. According to USDA officials, reaction to implementing the proposed
standards was overwhelmingly negative, with a consensus among state
and federal officials that data collection would impose an unreasonable
burden on state agencies and that the costs associated with collecting the
data would be disproportionate relative to the program’s funding. The
mandate to collect outcome data was subsequently removed from the
legislation in 1996.

Outcome measures became a much greater factor in how agencies assess
the effectiveness of their programs with the passage of the 1993
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). GPRA shifted the
focus of accountability for federal programs from inputs, such as staffing
and activity levels, to outcomes. GPRA requires that each federal agency
develop a multiyear strategic plan identifying the agency’s mission and
long-term goals and connecting these goals to program activities. In
addition, the President’s 2004 Budget contains increased emphasis on
performance and management assessments, including a focus on short-
term and long-term performance goals and the need to track performance
data in order to assess a program’s achievements. For example, the Office
of Management and Budget expects agencies to submit performance-based
budgets in 2005 and is requiring that many adult employment and training
programs (25) collect performance data in four areas-job placements, job
retention, earnings gained, and program cost per job placement. This focus
may lend new urgency for programs to collect outcome data.

While outcome measures are an important component of program
management in that they assess whether a participant is achieving an
intended outcome—such as obtaining employment—they cannot measure
whether the outcome is a direct result of program participation. Other
influences, such as the state of the local economy, may affect an



23
 See Office of Technology Assessment, Performance Standards for the Food Stamp
Employment and Training Program, Office of Technology Assessment, OTA-ITE-526,
(Washington, D.C.: Feb.1992) for a comprehensive discussion of the proposed measures.




Page 29                      GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
individual’s ability to find a job as much or more than participation in an
employment and training program. Many researchers consider impact
evaluations to be the best method for determining the effectiveness of a
program—that is, whether the program itself rather than other factors
leads to participant outcomes.24

In 1988, USDA commissioned an impact study to determine the
effectiveness of the Food Stamp E&T Program and found that those
required to enroll in the program did not fare any better, in terms of
employment or wages, than those excluded from participating. While the
study found that those required to enroll in the program increased their
employment and earnings during the 12 months after certification for food
stamp benefits, it found no difference between that group and those not
required to participate. The study notes, however, that only 43 percent of
those required to participate actually received employment and training
activities in 1988 and that the services received by the program
participants consisted primarily of referrals to job search activities.25

According to USDA officials, the agency has no plans to conduct another
effectiveness evaluation of the Food Stamp E&T Program. They noted that
the program is not a research priority for the agency’s food and nutrition
area, and no mention of the program is noted in FNS’s strategic plan. They
also noted that the cost of an evaluation might not be warranted, given the
limited funding for the program.26 Federal funding for the program
(including reimbursements for administrative costs) is small compared
with other programs—averaging about $172 million per year between
1994 and 2001—compared to about $3.8 billion for WIA programs in fiscal


24
 While GPRA does not require agencies to conduct formal program evaluations such as
impact evaluations, it does require agencies to summarize the findings of program
evaluations in their annual performance reports.
25
  See Evaluation of the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program: Abt Associates,
Washington, D.C.: June 1990. The study compared outcomes for individuals randomly
assigned either to a group required to enroll in the program or one that was excluded from
participating in the program. The study did not control for the receipt of employment and
training services from other programs for those not participating in the Food Stamp E&T
Program. Thirty-one percent of those excluded from participating in the program received
employment and training services from other programs.
26
  Some types of evaluations tend to be less expensive and time-consuming than others and
still provide some indication of program impact. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Early
Childhood Programs: The Use of Impact Evaluations to Asses Program Effects,
GAO-01-542 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 16, 2001) for a discussion of different types of impact
evaluations. Also, see OTA-ITE-526.




Page 30                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
              year 2001. However, the federal government and the states have spent over
              $2 billion since 1994 on the Food Stamp E&T Program without any
              nationwide data documenting whether the program is helping its
              participants.

              While impact evaluations may be expensive and complex to administer,
              they are being used to assess the effectiveness of some federal programs.
              For example, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is
              conducting evaluation studies on early childhood programs, and the
              Department of Labor recently evaluated the impact of the Job Corps
              program on student employment outcomes.27 In addition, both of these
              agencies are conducting research over the next 5 years that focuses on
              strategies to assist the hardest-to-serve, but they do not include the Food
              Stamp E&T population. HHS is commissioning an evaluation of programs
              that serve the hard-to-employ low-income parents, in part, to determine
              the effects of such programs on employment and earnings. And, Labor has
              plans to examine the most effective strategies for addressing employment
              barriers such as substance abuse and homelessness.


              The Food Stamp E&T Program was established to help some food stamp
Conclusions   recipients get a job and reduce their dependence on food stamps. For
              many Food Stamp E&T participants—who often lack the skills to be
              successful in other employment and training programs and who usually
              are not eligible for most other federal assistance programs—this program
              is the only one focused on helping them enter the workforce. But little is
              known at any level—federal, state, or local—about whether the program is
              achieving this goal. Little nationwide data exist to tell us who is
              participating or if they are getting a job. Even less is known about whether
              the services provided by the program make a difference in program
              outcomes. With limited knowledge of whom the program is serving, what
              outcomes the program is achieving, or whether program services are
              making a difference, it is difficult to make informed decisions about where
              to place limited employment and training resources. Given recent
              legislative changes that reduce most states’ funds, while allowing more
              discretion as to whom they serve, it may be even more essential to
              understand what works and what does not. While the Food Stamp E&T
              Program is small relative to other federal employment and training



              27
               See Department of Labor report submitted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Does
              Job Corps Work? Summary of the National Job Corps Study, June 2001.




              Page 31                      GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                      programs, wise investment of these resources could help reduce long-term
                      spending on food stamp benefits.

                      To help USDA better understand who the Food Stamp E&T Program is
Recommendations for   serving, what the program is achieving, and whether the program is
Executive Action      effective, we recommend that USDA do the following:

                      •   Use its quality control survey to collect nationwide estimates on the
                          number of food stamp recipients participating in the Food Stamp E&T
                          Program and their characteristics, such as age and gender. To do so,
                          USDA should clarify its instructions for reporting the data so that
                          states clearly identify which food stamp recipients are in the Food
                          Stamp E&T Program.
                      •   Establish uniform outcome measures for the Food Stamp E&T
                          Program and require states to collect and report them.
                      •   Work with the Department of Labor and/or the Department of Health
                          and Human Services on a research agenda that will allow for an
                          evaluation of the effectiveness of the Food Stamp E&T Program.

                      We provided a draft of this report to USDA for comment. While FNS did
Agency Comments       not provide written comments, FNS officials provided us with oral
and Our Evaluation    comments on the draft, including technical changes, which we
                      incorporated where appropriate.

                      FNS generally agreed with the benefit of collecting more data on the Food
                      Stamp E&T Program; however, the agency had concerns that the potential
                      benefits of more data may not be worth the effort or cost. Regarding our
                      recommendation for more data on whom the program is serving, FNS said
                      that because the Food Stamp Quality Control survey collects information
                      from only a sample of food stamp households—and that individuals
                      participating in the Food Stamp E&T Program would comprise a small
                      percentage of those included in the sample—the data collected would be
                      of limited use at the state level. While we agree that characteristic data
                      gathered from the survey may not be useful at the state level, the survey
                      could provide a cost-effective means to obtain nationwide data that are
                      currently not available and would allow FNS to better understand the
                      population that the program is serving.

                      While FNS agreed with the need to assess what the Food Stamp E&T
                      Program is achieving, agency officials expressed concerns regarding the
                      cost of implementing our recommendation related to outcome data.
                      Specifically, the officials are concerned that states will find it overly
                      burdensome to collect outcome data given the limited funding for this



                      Page 32                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
program and that costs associated with collecting these data might reduce
funding available for program participants. The officials noted that other
employment and training programs that collect outcome data, such as
WIA-funded programs, are funded at much higher levels than the Food
Stamp E&T Program and that costs associated with collecting data for
these programs might not be as onerous as for the Food Stamp E&T
Program.

We considered the costs associated with collecting outcome data and
while we agree that collecting data will entail additional administrative
costs for the states, we believe that the benefits of collecting uniform
outcome measures outweigh the costs to states. Having some measures of
what the program is achieving is necessary for FNS and state
administrators as they strive to improve program services—about half of
the states we contacted already collect some data on program
performance. In addition, outcome data provide the Congress with key
information necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of federal employment
and training programs. Many federal employment and training programs,
including ones that have funding levels similar to the Food Stamp E&T
Program, have integrated outcome measures into the administration of
their programs. The emphasis on performance evaluation is reflected in
the President’s 2004 Budget and the Office of Management and Budget’s
requirement that agencies submit performance-based budgets and that
employment and training programs collect uniform performance data.

Finally, FNS reiterated that given its limited research funds and other high-
priority research areas, evaluation of the Food Stamp E&T Program is not
a research priority for the agency at this time. However, regarding our
recommendation concerning the feasibility of an effectiveness evaluation,
FNS acknowledged the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of working with
other agencies that are evaluating employment and training services for
hard-to-serve populations.

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Agriculture,
appropriate congressional committees, and other interested parties. We
will also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the
report will be available at no charge on GAO’s Web site at




Page 33                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
http://www.gao.gov. Please contact me at (202) 512-7215 if you or your
staff have any questions about this report. Other major contributors to this
report are listed in appendix IV.




Sigurd R. Nilsen
Director, Education, Workforce,
  Income Security Issues




Page 34                  GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                                                   Appendix I: Percent of Participants in the
Appendix I: Percent of Participants in the         Food Stamp and Food Stamp E&T Program by
                                                   Age in Five States, Fiscal Year 2001


Food Stamp and Food Stamp E&T Program
by Age in Five States, Fiscal Year 2001

                                     18– 40 years                             41– 50 years                         51 – 60 years
                                                Food Stamp                                                                   Food Stamp
                               Food Stamp               E&T            Food Stamp Food Stamp E&T             Food Stamp              E&T
 State                           recipients     participants             recipients   participants             recipients    participants
 California                              22               79                      7             14                      3               6
 Colorado                                26               67                      9             24                      6               9
 Idaho                                   29               76                      7             18                      6               6
 Pennsylvania                            27               62                     10             23                      7              15
 Texas                                   25               63                      6             29                      4               8
Source: USDA and state data.

                                                   Note: GAO analysis of USDA and state data.




                                                   Page 35                        GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                                     Appendix II: Percent of Food Stamp E&T
Appendix II: Percent of Food Stamp E&T
                                     Activities Provided to Program Participants,
                                     Fiscal Year 2001


Activities Provided to Program Participants,
Fiscal Year 2001

                    Job search        Work experience                          Education/training
                     Job      Job        Work                       Basic            Vocational
                                                                                                        a         b        c
State             search training   experience Workfare         education      WIA education        GED     ESL       Other
Alabama            54.2%                43.5%                        2.4%
         d
Alaska
Arizona           46.8%                 49.5%                         3.6%
Arkansas                                                                                                              100.0%
California        35.2%                             59.0%            0.4%                  3.2%                         2.2%
Colorado          12.3%     1.9%                    74.3%           11.5%
Connecticutd
Delaware          40.0%                             33.4%                    26.5%
Florida           64.1%    17.8%        13.4%        4.7%
Georgiad
         d
Hawaii
       d
Idaho
Illinois          33.7%     0.4%        12.8%       53.1%
           d
Indiana
Iowa              96.0%                                              4.0%
Kansas            60.7%    21.4%         3.4%                       11.2%                  3.4%
Kentuckyd
Louisiana          84.5%                            11.4%             3.0%     1.2%
Maine              19.4%                 4.7%        0.6%                                  5.3%                       70.0%
Maryland           47.1%   19.3%        23.3%        9.6%                                  0.7%
Massachusetts     100.0%
Michigan           49.1%                             1.2%                      3.1%                                   46.6%
Minnesota          95.1%                             0.1%                                  4.9%
              d
Mississippi
Missouri           70.4%   23.2%                                      6.4%
Montana            30.7%                            69.3%
Nebraska          100.0%
            d
Nevada
New
Hampshire         57.4%                             36.5%             6.1%
New Jersey        80.5%     1.1%        14.4%                                              4.0%
New Mexico        54.9%                  8.7%                       12.1%                  5.4%                       18.9%
New York          25.9%    21.9%        49.6%                        0.0%                  0.7%
North Carolina    97.5%                                              1.7%      0.8%
North Dakota               100.0%
Ohio               16.0%    10.2%                   73.7%
Oklahoma           95.3%     1.6%                                                                                      3.2%
Oregon             82.0%     7.2%                    5.4%                                  1.2%                        4.3%
Pennsylvania       29.3%                 2.9%                                             24.3%     16.5%             27.0%
Rhode Island      100.0%
South Carolinad



                                     Page 36                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                                     Appendix II: Percent of Food Stamp E&T
                                     Activities Provided to Program Participants,
                                     Fiscal Year 2001




                   Job search        Work experience                                  Education/training
                    Job      Job        Work                              Basic             Vocational
                                                                                                             a         b       c
 State           search training   experience Workfare                education       WIA education        GED   ESL       Other
 South Dakota     89.7%                            4.9%                    4.8%                                             0.6%
 Tennessee                                        91.4%                    6.2%       1.7%        0.2%                      0.6%
 Texas           69.0%     0.7%          0.7%                                                     0.4%                     29.2%
 Utah            53.1%    46.9%
 Vermont         67.3%     3.8%              2.1%                         18.5%
 Virginia        76.1%    11.0%              5.9%                          7.0%
 Washington      80.4%                                   17.4%             2.2%
 West Virginia   79.2%                     11.5%                           5.0%                   4.0%                      0.3%
 Wisconsin                 1.5%                                                                  26.3%           4.2%      68.0%
 Wyoming         100.0%
Source: USDA.
                                     a
                                         High school equivalency preparation.
                                     b
                                         English as a second language class.
                                     c
                                         State or local programs, or post-secondary education.
                                     d
                                         Data not provided by state to USDA.




                                     Page 37                             GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                                        Appendix III: Food Stamp E&T Expenditures
Appendix III: Food Stamp E&T Expenditures
                                        and Allocations, by State, Fiscal Years 2001
                                        and 2003


and Allocations, by State, Fiscal Years 2001
and 2003

                                 Fiscal year 2001                          Fiscal year 2003
                                                                                                                        Percent
                                                                                                                     difference
                                                                                                    Difference   between FY01
                                                                                               between FY01        expenditure
                 Federal grant                           Percent              Federal grant    allocation and         and FY03
States              allocation    Total expended       expended                  allocation   FY03 allocation        allocation
Alabama           $10,034,322          $1,207,314           12%                 $2,376,356        ($7,657,966)              49%
Alaska               $122,836             $75,362           61%                   $376,570            $253,734              80%
Arizona            $2,702,908            $531,585           20%                 $2,500,167          ($202,741)              79%
Arkansas           $1,800,456            $156,089            9%                 $2,866,326          $1,065,870              95%
California        $31,392,037        $31,392,037           100%                 $7,113,981      ($24,278,056)             -341%
Colorado           $1,922,995          $1,485,235           77%                   $883,485        ($1,039,510)             -68%
Connecticut        $7,303,021            $530,019            7%                 $1,360,403        ($5,942,618)              61%
Delaware             $675,060            $125,418           19%                   $430,834          ($244,226)              71%
Florida           $14,090,723          $5,269,877           37%                 $4,714,894        ($9,375,829)             -12%
Georgia           $13,514,401          $1,533,012           11%                 $2,304,569      ($11,209,832)               33%
Hawaii             $2,283,025            $865,599           38%                   $431,163        ($1,851,862)            -101%
Idaho                $623,864            $155,822           25%                   $359,623          ($264,241)              57%
Illinois          $13,514,991        $11,811,556            87%                 $5,431,414        ($8,083,577)            -117%
Indiana            $8,475,166          $2,241,437           26%                 $1,839,092        ($6,636,074)             -22%
Iowa               $2,932,944            $628,740           21%                   $527,708        ($2,405,236)             -19%
Kansas             $1,078,510            $215,702           20%                   $613,691          ($464,819)              65%
Kentucky           $1,350,998            $338,803           25%                 $3,143,729          $1,792,731              89%
Louisiana          $7,260,021          $1,092,506           15%                  3,546,976        ($3,713,045)              69%
Maine              $4,662,038            $318,251            7%                   $359,380        ($4,302,658)              11%
Maryland           $5,233,404            $449,287            9%                 $1,114,743        ($4,118,661)              60%
Massachusetts      $2,260,884            $694,564           31%                   $680,346        ($1,580,538)              -2%
Michigan          $39,667,524          $6,909,189           17%                 $6,830,663      ($32,836,861)               -1%
Minnesota          $5,098,070            $975,406           19%                 $1,247,911        ($3,850,159)              22%
Mississippi        $6,503,087          $1,401,446           22%                 $1,523,416        ($4,979,671)               8%
Missouri          $13,394,447          $1,093,205            8%                 $1,803,099      ($11,591,348)               39%
Montana              $726,007            $637,280           88%                   $313,204          ($412,803)            -103%
Nebraska           $1,276,662            $303,506           24%                   $506,145          ($770,517)              40%
Nevada             $1,034,942            $158,750           15%                   $444,404          ($590,538)              64%
New Hampshire        $231,704            $152,593           66%                   $217,301           ($14,403)              30%
New Jersey        $17,354,702        $12,843,910            74%                 $2,014,694      ($15,340,008)             -538%
New Mexico         $4,342,711            $298,661            7%                   $637,470        ($3,705,241)              53%
New York          $34,489,209          $6,577,761           19%                $13,197,206      ($21,292,003)               50%
North Carolina    $15,044,030            $361,647            2%                 $1,906,854      ($13,137,176)               81%
North Dakota         $933,130            $176,691           19%                   $154,219          ($778,911)             -15%
Ohio               $7,615,703          $3,060,191           40%                 $4,510,842        ($3,104,861)              32%
Oklahoma           $3,326,401            $108,516            3%                   $832,154        ($2,494,247)              87%
Oregon             $8,090,978          $6,602,696           82%                 $1,861,250        ($6,229,728)            -255%




                                        Page 38                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                                         Appendix III: Food Stamp E&T Expenditures
                                         and Allocations, by State, Fiscal Years 2001
                                         and 2003




                                  Fiscal year 2001                          Fiscal year 2003
                                                                                                                         Percent
                                                                                                                      difference
                                                                                                     Difference   between FY01
                                                                                                between FY01        expenditure
                  Federal grant                           Percent              Federal grant    allocation and         and FY03
 States              allocation    Total expended       expended                  allocation   FY03 allocation        allocation
 Pennsylvania      $33,135,858          $8,014,047           24%                 $5,177,268      ($27,958,590)              -55%
 Rhode Island         $287,367             $35,385           12%                   $327,237             $39,870              89%
 South Carolina     $2,758,508          $2,634,781           96%                 $1,389,975        ($1,368,533)             -90%
 South Dakota         $348,290            $348,290          100%                   $413,225             $64,935              16%
 Tennessee          $8,074,246          $2,672,860           33%                 $3,019,575        ($5,054,671)              11%
 Texas             $15,099,704          $4,156,416           28%                 $9,512,763        ($5,586,941)              56%
 Utah               $1,112,283            $526,397           47%                   $611,950          ($500,333)              14%
 Vermont            $1,583,154            $166,826           11%                   $228,246        ($1,354,908)              27%
 Virginia          $11,819,154          $2,375,349           20%                 $1,948,464        ($9,870,690)             -22%
 Washington         $2,816,412          $2,265,290           80%                 $2,375,751          ($440,661)               5%
 West Virginia      $4,730,286            $211,767            4%                 $2,274,490        ($2,455,796)              91%
 Wisconsin          $4,006,050            $707,649           18%                   $710,462        ($3,295,588)               0%
 Wyoming              $391,196             $78,239           20%                   $117,765          ($273,431)              34%
Source: USDA.

                                         Note: GAO analysis of USDA data.




                                         Page 39                       GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
                  Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
Appendix IV: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Dianne Blank (202) 512-5654
GAO Contacts      Elizabeth Morrison (202) 512-9641


                  Elspeth Grindstaff and Angela Miles made significant contributions to this
Staff             report. In addition, Jessica Botsford provided legal support, Marc Molino
Acknowledgments   provided graphic design assistance, and Susan Bernstein provided writing
                  assistance.




                  Page 40                     GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
             Related GAO Products
Related GAO Products


             Older Workers: Employment Assistance Focuses on Subsidized Jobs and
             Job Search, but Revised Performance Measures Could Improve Access to
             Other Services. GAO-03-350. Washington, D.C.: January 24, 2003.

             Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service: Food Stamp
             Program: Work Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work
             Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and Food Stamp Provisions of
             the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. GAO-02-874R. Washington, D.C.: July 17,
             2002.

             Workforce Investment Act: States and Localities Increasingly Coordinate
             Services for TANF Clients, but Better Information Needed on Effective
             Approaches. GAO-02-696. Washington, D.C.: July 3, 2002.

             Workforce Investment Act: Improvements Needed in Performance
             Measures to Provide a More Accurate Picture of Wiz’s Effectiveness.
             GAO-02-275. Washington, D.C.: February 1, 2002.

             Workforce Investment Act: Better Guidance Needed to Address Concerns
             Over New Requirements. GAO-02-72. Washington, D.C.: October 4, 2001.

             Food Stamp Program: Implementation of the Employment and Training
             Program for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents. GAO-01-391R.
             Washington, D.C.: February 27, 2001.

             Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service: Food Stamp
             Program—Food Stamp Provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
             GAO/OGC-99-66. Washington, D.C.: September 17, 1999.

             Food Stamp Program: Information on Employment and Training
             Activities. GAO/RCED-99-40. Washington, D.C.: December 14, 1998.




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             Page 41                 GAO-03-388 Food Stamp Employment and Training Program
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