Legal Hotline Established for People Needing Help with Food Stamps

Media Contact:
Cynthia Martinez, Communications Director
512.374.2764 or cmartinez@trla.org

AUSTIN, Texas – December 9, 2009 – A new statewide legal aid hotline has been established to help low-income Texans having difficulty acquiring food stamps this holiday season.

Run by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, the hotline is targeted towards Texans who have been denied food stamp benefits or have applied but not received a decision on their application within thirty days.  Federal law requires that states process applications within a thirty day period.

“People need to receive a decision on whether they will get this aid within thirty days,” said TRLA attorney Renee Trevino. “When it comes to feeding your family, having to wait longer than that is not acceptable.”

More than sixteen percent of Texas households are having trouble putting food on the table in these tough economic times.  In October more than 185,000 food stamp applications were reviewed by the state. More than forty percent of those were decided upon beyond the established time frames for a decision.

The hotline can be reached at 1-866-757-1570.  Callers will be able to speak with TRLA staff about their situation and determine their eligibility for free legal services.  In the event that staff is unavailable, callers will be able to supply their information and have someone contact them the following business day.

Added Trevino, “This holiday season no one should go hungry because the state cannot meet deadlines.  TRLA is here to help.”

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services.

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