Alaska to pay for food stamps snafu

    Anchorage, Alaska (AP) Alaska will pay $2.5 million to the federal government to settle allegations of inaccurate reporting in the administration of a federal food assistance program.

    The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services made false claims in its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the Food Stamps Program, according to the Justice Department.

    A consultant who advised Alaska and other states disputes the federal claims about the program that provides financial assistance to low-income families so they can buy nutritious food.

    People in the program receive an electronic benefit transfer card, similar to an ATM card, that can be used at participating stores to buy eligible food such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products and other items.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture program has provided more than $71 billion annually since 2010. More than 45 million Americans per month, out of a population of 325.9 million, receive benefits.

    Alaska in the last fiscal year issued $187.8 million in benefits to 129,649 needy residents.


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