Contact: Carol Gifford
STARKVILLE, Miss.â€”A major research unit at Mississippi State University is playing a critical role in how the State of Mississippi delivers nutrition assistance.
The National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) and the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) were recently awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an algorithm to facilitate data usage that improves the quality of the stateâ€™s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families, and provides economic benefits to communities.
â€śThe use of data has become a big factor in the way government agencies function and operate. This project will put MDHS on the cutting edge of developing methods to improve the quality of program implementation,â€ť said Domenico â€śMimmoâ€ť Parisi, executive director of NSPARC.
According to Parisi, the projectâ€™s main objective is to make sure SNAP funds are used to their fullest potential for the benefit of those in need.
â€śThis project is an example of the innovative partnerships that a university can develop with state government,â€ť he said.
â€śNSPARC, as a university research center, acts as an innovation branch in Mississippi, reaching out to partners with policymakers and stakeholders by conducting research to improve systems that can lead to better program results.â€ť
The three-year project will continue through 2018.
For more about NSPARC, visit www.nsparc.msstate.edu. Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.
MSU is Mississippiâ€™s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.