Missouri gets $4 million bonus for food stamp accuracy

Monday, July 2, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri is getting a nearly $4 million bonus from the federal government for its handling of the food stamp program.

The Social Services Department said Monday that the state's food stamp payments were among the most accurate in the nation in the 2006 fiscal year. That means generally families received the correct amount of money and the state did not overpay people.

Missouri soon will get a bonus of more than $3.9 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Six other states also are getting bonus payments.

In fiscal 2006, Missouri issued $738 million in food stamps, the state agency said. The federal government pays for food stamp benefits, but the state and federal government split the cost of running the program.

Nearly 300,000 families received food stamps in Missouri, as of late May.

The extra money can be used as the Department of Social Services sees fit. Last year, for example, the department was awarded $2.4 million and used much of it for overtime pay, spokeswoman Sara Anderson said.

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