Texas Families Continue Legal Battle for Food Stamps

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

AUSTIN, Texas – January 5, 2010 – Nineteen Texas families are demanding that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) make decisions on their food stamp applications immediately or face legal action.

Represented by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, the families are claiming that HHSC has failed to provide them with decisions on their food stamp applications within the legally required thirty day deadline.  As a result, they continue to struggle to feed their families without much needed assistance.

According to TRLA Executive Director David Hall, “This is a problem affecting thousands of Texas families in a tough economic time. Having to wait more than one month to find out if you can feed your family is unacceptable.”

Since December more than one hundred families have sought TRLA’s assistance in demanding HHSC make decisions on their applications. With the organization’s help, ninety-seven percent of the families who have demanded immediate action from the agency have now received decisions.  TRLA currently represents seven families who have filed a lawsuit against HHSC related to the delays.

“This is an emergency where thousands of Texans are going hungry everyday,” added Hall. “No excuse will put food on the table – the agency needs to act now.”

Texans facing similar delays are encouraged to call TRLA’s food stamp hotline at 1-866-757-1570 for assistance.

The families’ demand letter and all documents related to the legal struggle can be found online at http://bit.ly/trlafoodstamps.

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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