Regional
10:19 am
Wed January 13, 2010

Food Stamp Turmoil Continues

Texas – The Obama administration's top food stamp program official says Texas now has the worst-performing food-stamp program in the nation.

Undersecretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon aired his criticism in Austin on Tuesday. He was in the state to check on what headway Texas is making in cleaning up a mess left from the state's failed privatization of its food-stamp program.

Concannon said delays in the state's accurate processing of food stamp applications means the most-punished are middle-class Texans who recently lost their jobs and are seeking government help for the first time.

He told reporters that the state could be getting $1 billion more in federal food-stamp funds and serving 650,000 more food-stamp applicants if it increased its participation rate to the national rate of 67 percent. He says stamps now go to about 3 million Texans, about 55 percent of those eligible.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.