State Commission to ask for more funding for food stamp workers - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

State Commission to ask for more funding for food stamp workers

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO---The State's Health and Human Services Commission projects more than 3 million Texas families will receive their services by 2013.

The leading need is food stamps.  Next week, the commission will formally submit a request asking the state for more than $66 million to hire nearly 2, 500 additional employees to process the rapidly growing requests.

Brenda Lowery recently moved to Amarillo with her three sons to start her life over, but with the fresh start, she says she needs help.

"I went through a divorce, now I am on my own. I need a little bit of help.  I am in school full time, so they help me out a few things that I can't do on my own." Lowery tells NewsChannel 10

So for the past year, she's fed her family with food stamps. Like the Lowery's, nearly than 11,000 families in Potter and Randall counties are fed by the government.  Just two years ago, there were roughly eight thousand.

"There's been days that I have just had to give up because I have been on hold for at least 45 minutes." Lowery said about the long lines in the commission's local office.

State Commissioner Tom Suehs will ask the Texas Legislature for the additional funds, despite tight budgets.

"It's incumbent on us to talk to the legislature in a very frank fashion about what are needs are. They have other challenges they need to address as well. It's the Legislature's  job to look at the entire situation." Health and Human Services Commission spokesperson, Geoffrey Wool, tells NewsChannel 10.

Brenda Lowery hopes to not be apart of the situation for long.

"I'm in college full time, this is just temporary, I don't want to be on the system forever. Once I graduate, I should be just fine on my own." said Lowery.

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