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The purpose of this MOU is to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each party as they relate to the implementation of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Stamp Program (FSP). The FSP is intended to help state agencies inform low-income households about the availability, eligibility requirements, applications procedures and benefits for the program.

Is this use of the preposition for natural? Is the intended meaning "benefits under the program", "benefits enjoyed by the low-income households enrolled in the program"?

Could it be that the preposition for is used because each of the terms "eligibility requirements", "application procedures" and "benefits" relates to the program? That is, because the authors of the sentence decided to link several terms to a single preposition phrase?

When I try to "hook up" each of these terms to the preposition phrase, this is what I get:

"Availability for the program" looks strange to me. I would use "availability of the program (in a specific location, say)".

"Eligibility requirement for the program" looks okay.

"Application procedures for the program" looks somewhat strange. A natural way would've been, it seems to me, "application procedures for the participation in the program".

"Benefits for the program" looks understandable within the context, but in another context it could've meant "benefits provided to the program" (not to the indigent families, but, say, to the agencies implementing the program)

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    Nope, it ain't. The author picked a preposition that fit with 'procedures'. Is 'applications' a typo? Would expect a singular there. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 23 '14 at 12:47
  • @TRomano: So "application procedures and benefits" is an integral phrase (benefits and procedures related to application)? (yes, "applications" could be a typo", but I copied the quote, not typed it, so it's a typo present in the original) – CowperKettle Dec 23 '14 at 12:52
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    No, I think not. The FSP is intended to help state agencies inform low-income households of the availability of the program and its benefits; it also sets out the program's eligibility requirements and application procedures. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 23 '14 at 12:58
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    I reword to avoid situations where I'd have to pick a preposition that doesn't fit all of the items in the list. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 23 '14 at 12:59
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    applications procedures is in the original – user6951 Dec 23 '14 at 13:37
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The FSP is intended to help state agencies inform low-income households about the

availability,
eligibility requirements,
applications procedures
and
benefits for
the program.

=

The FSP is intended to help state agencies inform low-income households about

the availability for,
the eligibility requirements for,
the applications procedures for
and
the benefits for
the program.

for is best approximated by in regards to, as regards, regarding, with respect to, in relation to.

See M-W 7, ODO 2, Collins 13, dictionary.com 10 and, best for last, but you have to scroll down for in relation to.

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  • Thank you, CarSmack! So for seems to fit every term in the list. – CowperKettle Dec 23 '14 at 13:54
  • Availability for? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 23 '14 at 15:20
  • A company car may be available for use by managers. We can talk about the car's availability for managers. But we would be discussing the availability of the car. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 23 '14 at 15:31

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