RI promises streamlined food stamp program, Mon, Feb 23, 2009,
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- State officials will soon make it easier to get food stamps. The changes, announced today, include hiring nine more workers to help with a surge in demand. Other changes include a streamlined application process with a one-year service span. Currently, recipients must reapply every six months.
Also, the state Department of Health and Human Services will reach out to workers who have recently lost jobs. About 20,000 people receiving unemployment benefits will get notices of the program. More than 90,000 people now get help through the food stamp program.
The measures will help individuals and families obtain nutritional meals and increase federal dollars coming into Rhode Island's economy, acting Secretary Gary D. Alexander said."Rhode Island is working hard to ease access to food assistance for recently unemployed individuals, elderly populations, and individuals with disabilities," he said. "Program simplification is the quickest way to serve those most in need."