Texas food stamp program hits a snag as more households are relying on food pantries
In the Texas food-stamp program, about one-third of households receiving benefits are relying solely on food stamps.
But that’s not the case for many other Texans, who are also relying on some form of aid.
For example, according to a new analysis of food stamp applications, the number of households relying on a food pantry has nearly doubled since the program’s inception in 2012.
And that’s in addition to more than 500,000 households who were relying on other types of aid such as rent assistance, child care, and food assistance.
The food-aid program is based on the premise that food is essential for a healthy diet.
But the Texas Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor are all looking at ways to limit the program.
In addition to the food-supply limits, the program also faces the challenge of not being able to find enough qualified workers to fill jobs.
Food-aid recipients are also seeing the need to shop around.
About 40 percent of those who received benefits in the first three months of this year are now using their food stamps, according the Texas Tribune.
“I think people are looking for alternatives,” said Laura Schumann, executive director of the food stamp advocacy group Texans for Responsible Nutrition.
Schumann, who said the numbers are still growing, also points to the recent uptick in homeless people in Texas, which has caused the program to struggle.
The number of food-deprived Texans dropped to 2,600 in March from 3,400 in December.
One solution is to increase the number who are eligible for the program by giving the money to low-income households.
Another option would be to allow the money be spent directly on groceries, which the program has not yet decided to do.
But a third possibility is to expand the food panty, which is a more viable option for many Texas households.