4:47pm

Tue December 6, 2011
SNAP Benefits

USDA Launching New Effort to Fight Food Stamp Fraud

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it is launching new efforts aimed at fighting fraud with the nation’s food stamp program. 

Federal officials say as food stamp use goes up, so does the potential for fraud, waste, and abuse.

Kevin Concannon is the USDA Under Secretary for Food and Nutrition, which oversees SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He emphasizes the problem of fraud and misuse – including trading benefits for cash -- is limited.

Currently it’s at about 1%  -- down from a few years ago, when 4 cents of every food stamp dollar was misused. But Concannon says any amount of fraud undermines public confidence in the program’s integrity – which is why they’re launching this new effort, which will use state of the art technology and undercover investigations.

In Colorado, more than 470,000 people get rely on aid from SNAP, an 11 percent increase from one year ago.