Food Stamp Delay has many Texans Saying "Enough is Enough"

Samantha Albert
Samantha Albert
Kaiela Sims
Kaiela Sims

What should take thirty days is now taking months, and many Texans are saying enough is enough... the food stamp application process is experiencing a major backlog.

Food stamp enrollment in Potter County is up by 9% from last year... That means nearly 18,000 residents received food stamps this month.

Kaiela Sims is getting desperate. "I've been put on bedrest because of my pregnancy. I don't have any income. I no longer have a job." So she walked into the crowded office in Amarillo on Wednesday to apply for food stamps for the very first time. "My son needs to eat. I need to eat. We need it bad."

But she may have to wait a while before she can make a trip to the grocery store.

Samantha Albert says, "I applied. I waited three months. I asked what the problem was they said sorry we're slow."

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission admits that in some cases, they are not complying with the federal law that requires applications be processed within thirty days.

They blame the rising number of applicants combined with a lack of employees.

Albert applied for emergency food stamps on Wednesday, because she says sorry won't put food on the table. "No job, no food, single mom in school, waiting to feed my three year old."

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all Texans seeking food stamps.

The HHSC responds by saying they will be hiring 656 new workers as of September first, and will start conducting phone interviews, instead of face to face, to determine if someone is in fact eligible for food stamps.... All in hopes of speeding up the process.