Wednesday, September 8, 2010
10: 45 am
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has released the following statement in response to recent testimony and reports from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on their progress with the food stamps system:
The State of Texas should not be applauded for forcing struggling Texas families to go hungry for the last five years. By continuing to run a food stamp system that works against hungry Texas families at every step of the process, the state purposefully discourages needy families from seeking the help they need.
Changing the filing dates on applications to allow them to conform to timeliness standards, running a decades-old phone system where calls go unanswered, and blaming hungry families for untimely decisions when they are not provided with the information required by law are all easy ways to make it seem like progress is being reached. But these practices are misleading and create a mirage that should not be trusted.
The food stamp system needs serious attention and reform. Timeliness is only one symptom of an epidemic that affects every aspect of the food stamp application process. Thus far, scrutiny has only come as a result of numerous lawsuits and federal fines – all at the cost of hungry Texas families.
Texans deserve better. TRLA remains committed to using the legal system to hold the state accountable for running a failing system.
Communications Director, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid