USDA Closing Offices In St. Louis And Hillsboro

USDA Closing Offices In St. Louis And Hillsboro

Agency streamlining effort hits Show-Me state social and farm program venues.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch says USDA's streamlining efforts will close offices in Missouri as part of a sweeping effort to eliminate costs and streamline the agency's operations.

The offices include two in Hillsboro and one in St. Louis.

Agency officials said Tuesday employees were being given the option to move to other offices or telecommute, and that agency operations would not be affected.

"It's not going to affect the delivery of programs or the employees," said spokesman Matt Herrick.

The St. Louis office is part of the agency's Food and Nutrition Services division, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly referred to as food stamps, as well as the School Lunch Program.

The division's St. Louis office, which had two employees, oversaw the retailers that deliver SNAP benefits, making sure that they "deliver and redeem the benefits appropriately and legally," Herrick said.

The department is also closing a Farm Service Agency office and Rural Development Agency office in Hillsboro. The offices administered benefits and programs to farmers who will now have to travel to adjacent counties for services.

"Producers are going to have access to a Farm Service Agency," said Edward Hamill, the state's Farm Service Agency director. "We've got some services in surrounding counties, and farmers and ranchers will be able to choose which counties they want to have their records administered in."

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