SNAP

Vivian Evans / Flickr

The nonprofit FarmFresh Rhode Island will use a $4.6 million federal grant to help low-income New Englanders buy more fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Lynn Arditi

The start of the month is an important time for Son Sam, a 62-year-old grandmother. That’s when she gets her food stamps. But this month, she didn’t get any.

So, on the first Monday in December, Sam and scores of other people lined up outside the state Department of Human Services in Providence.

Mahtakathleen / Creative Commons/ Wikimedia Commons

The Ocean State tied with New Hampshire for the 10th lowest adult obesity rate in the country at 26.6 percent in 2016. That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the disease prevention non-profit Trust for America’s Health. The report finds that adult obesity rates are leveling off nationwide.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

UPDATE: Gov. Gina Raimondo has appointed Tom Guthlein Acting Associate Director of Program Operations at DHS to oversee the customer service team. Director Melba Depeña-Affigne’s role has not changed. 

DHS Submits UHIP Fix-It Plan To Feds

Nov 23, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services has submitted its corrective action plan to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service. That’s what the federal agency required when it discovered a number of problems with Rhode Island’s new online benefits system, UHIP.

Excessive wait times and overcrowding in DHS field offices. Computer glitches. A lack of staff training on the new system. The problems got so bad with the state’s new system for food stamps and other benefits that the federal agency asked them to draw up an emergency plan to fix the problems.

Lawmakers Demand Answers On UHIP's Rocky Rollout

Oct 21, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers grilled staff from the Departments of Human Services and Administration about what they deemed the “botched” rollout of a new state benefits system Thursday afternoon.

Feds Predicted Problems With New DHS System

Oct 12, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials have yet to comment on warnings from a federal agency that said Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services computer system wasn’t ready for prime time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted problems with the new system.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials are responding to problems with the state’s brand new health and human services computer system. The multi-million dollar system has experienced technical problems that are affecting services and causing long wait times at field offices.

New State Benefits System Goes Live Tuesday

Sep 12, 2016
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

As of Tuesday there’s a new way of applying for state benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, or SNAP. It's an online application for all Department of Human Services benefits, all in one place - Rhode Island's biggest information technology project ever. But some advocates for the poor fear there won’t be enough support to help clients make the transition.

Kathleen Gorman

Hundreds of thousands of Rhode  Islanders receive state assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. The agency that helps connect them with those benefits - the Department of Human Services - is in the midst of a major reorganization. 

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island

Sep 6, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

70 employees at the state Department of Human Services have received layoff notices because of a system-wide reorganization. It's part of a shift to online applications for benefits like food stamps.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This September, Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services launches a new online portal for health and social service benefits. It’s the state’s biggest IT project ever. 

Rhode Island Dept. of Human Services

Rhode Islanders seeking medical or food stamp assistance will soon be able to complete their application online, all in one go.

Rhode Island Public Health Institute

A new initiative of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute at Brown University aims to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into low income neighborhoods. 

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