This report provides an extensive overview of Washington’s Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) program and, more broadly, of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T). 

BFET is viewed as a national model for expanding SNAP E&T programs by building on the existing service delivery capacity of community colleges and community-based workforce training providers. This paper covers the history and development of the BFET program; the nuts and bolts of how the BFET program operates; how the BFET program is utilized by community colleges and community-based organizations; and a short overview of program outcomes. The paper summarizes the best practices that have emerged from BFET and offers recommendations to other states and localities in expanding SNAP E&T programs.

June 4, 2014

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    How Washington State developed and implemented its unique “third-party match” SNAP E&T program, BFET.

  2. 2

    How the BFET program is administered and the employment and training and support services it provides.

  3. 3

    How the BFET program is specifically utilized by community colleges and community-based organizations to serve individuals on Basic Food (SNAP).

  4. 4

    An overview of how BFET has been impacted by changes to federal law and regulations relating to the SNAP E&T program.

  1. 5

    Key outcomes for participants in terms of employment, wages and educational attainment.

  2. 6

    best practices developed from BFET and recommendations for other states and their community colleges and community-based organizations.

Key Takeaway

How Washington State Took its SNAP E&T Program to Scale Quickly

In 2004, a group of government, community college and community-based organization (CBO) leaders came together in Seattle to utilize SNAP E&T in an innovative way to better meet the needs of low-income and low-skill residents. The Washington’s Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) program grew from $150,000 at its launch in October 2005 to more than $29 million today, expanding from Seattle to the entire state, and from one community college and a handful of CBOs to all 34 of the state’s colleges and more than 30 CBOs.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations