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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

MAY 16, 2003

COUNTY FOOD STAMP PROGRAM RECEIVES FEDERAL RECOGNITION

CHARLOTTE, NC - Mecklenburg County runs a well-managed and efficient food stamp program, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and that means the County's citizens who need the help receive good service.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service awarded the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) a certificate of merit for excellence in the administration of the Food Stamp Program. The program assists individuals and families with low incomes, and others who qualify, with help to purchase food.

Meg Downs, a manager with the DSS Economic Services Division, accepted the plaque that was presented during the recent meeting of the Six Million Dollar Club Payment Accuracy and Access Conference in Charleston, S.C.

"It was an honor to accept the award in recognition of the hard work that our staff does every day," Downs said.

Mecklenburg County is one of 21 North Carolina counties in the club recognized for superior accuracy in calculating food stamp benefits. The County's accuracy rate for the Federal fiscal year (October through September) 2002 was 93.51 percent, which USDA officials say reflects an extremely well managed program. Mecklenburg County issued $47,327,260 in food stamps benefits for the 2002 federal fiscal year.

The Six Million Dollar Club is made up of 169 counties throughout the southeast region that issue more than $6 million in food stamp benefits each year. The group meets bi-annually to share success stories and strategies on how to operate an efficient and accurate food stamp program.

Virgil L. Conrad, southeast regional administrator for USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), and Kate Coler, deputy administrator of the Food Stamp Program for FNS, presented the award.

"Through your hard work and determination, you have built an excellent program which serves the citizens of Mecklenburg County responsibly and effectively," Conrad said.



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