Food assistance office moves

Published 9:56 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Chilton County Food Stamp office is moving back to its original home, the main Department of Human Resources office off Airport Road.

Boxed up: Chilton County Department of Human Resources employees Kay Locke, left, and Angie Melton look through boxes on Tuesday that have been moved from the Food Stamp Office, which is relocating back to the main DHR building.

The move is scheduled to be complete on Aug. 23.

Nine years ago, when the food assistance program first moved away from the main DHR office and to its current location on Jasper Dennis Road, the county’s child welfare program was expanding because of federal mandates through the R.C. Consent Decree, Colson said. However, in the last five years, the child welfare program has “stabilized,” and less space is needed.

“With the downturn in the economy, the food assistance program is now facing tremendous growth,” Colson said. “This is part of an ongoing effort to improve the management of the agency and to enhance services to clients.

“After Aug. 23, clients who need the services of the child welfare staff, JOBS, adult services or child support will also be able to handle their food assistance business at the same office.”
Colson said, with the operations back under one roof, she expects about $2,600 of taxpayer money to be saved each month. DHR won’t have separate lease payments, utility bills, pest control bills, etc.

Letticia Benson, supervisor of the food assistance unit, said shared clerical staff is another advantage of the move.

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, as the food stamp office is officially called, serves about 3,500 people in Chilton County. The program employs 11 people, and about 44 people will be working at the DHR office once the move is complete.

“So far, so good,” Colson said about the move. “The big days are Thursday and Friday.”
Colson thanked Jimmy Easterling with Key Properties, owner of the facility the food assistance office is moving from, for making the move possible.

The mailing address (P.O. Box 1349, Clanton, AL, 35046) and telephone number (280-2500) for the SNAP program will remain the same. Applications for food assistance or family assistance may be turned in at the main DHR office beginning Thursday.