For the first time in years, no Georgian applying for food stamps last month was kept on hold for more than hour.
That may seem like faint praise, but it’s the kind of steady improvement the Division of Family and Children’s Services needs to show to stay out of hot water with Washington.
Two years ago, Georgia was on the verge of losing $76 million in federal funds for failing to perform the basic social service of feeding poor families in crisis.
The state’s administration of $2.3 billion in annual food stamp funding was tied up in a call center that left applicants on hold for five and six hours. Applications were shuffled among state workers, errors were common and people who had given their working life to social services were leaving in droves.
Thanks to changes in leadership and approach, the program is improving. The program isn’t perfect, but appears to be on the road to recovery.