Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

More food stamps fail

The dimensions of this failure are just staggering.

Texas has the worst performing food stamp program in the nation, says the federal director who oversees the project designed to help desperate people get nutritious meals.

Texas ranks last among the 50 states and U.S. territories in processing food stamp applications and also does a poor job getting eligible people to apply, said Kevin Concannon, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

H.E.B., Randalls and other grocery stores are missing out on nearly $1 billion a year in food sales because Texas does not even come close to the national average in enrolling eligible people for food assistance, Concannon said.

So that’s a billion dollars in lost business for the grocery stores, eighty million dollars in lost sales tax revenue, and – oh yeah – hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are children, needlessly going hungry. I don’t even have the words to express how angry this makes me. The Sunday editorial correctly points the finger at who is to blame for this:

For his part, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has no intention of making it easier for would-be food stamp recipients, just as he rejected more than half a billion stimulus dollars for unemployment benefits last spring because he thought they came with too many strings attached. He defends the food stamps fingerprinting and assets tests, said spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger, “to protect the integrity of the program.”

But there is no rationale, not even an economic one, to support the status quo. Food stamps are 100 percent federally funded — states are responsible for 50 percent of administrative costs. And because of long waits and onerous requirements, many Texans are discouraged from even applying for assistance.

This results in an annual loss to our grocery stores of almost $1 billion, said program administrator Concannon. “If I were a native son …,” he told reporters last week, “I would be very upset that my state was not the leader that it is capable of being.”

Every last bit of this failure is owned by Rick Perry. This has all happened under his watch. I wouldn’t have thought the idea that he thinks he’s Presidential timber could get more ludicrous, but there you have it. Postcards has more.

Related Posts:

One Comment

  1. Tim Carlson says:

    There is no sales tax on food items in Texas. Therefore, I am not sure where the $80 million loss in state revenues would come from.