New food stamps data leak, and Georgia food stamp numbers up for the first time
The latest data leak has Georgia food stamps numbers up again.
The state has reported that it has processed more than 200,000 applications since September, but it still has about 1.3 million applications pending.
That means the state has received about 4,500 applications each day for about six months.
Georgia Food and Nutrition Board spokeswoman Rebecca Hall said the agency will process the most applications.
She said that is a small fraction of the 1.4 million people on the food stamp rolls in the state, and it is still too soon to determine the extent of the fraud.
Georgia has reported a surge in applications for food stamps, which have risen about 10% in the last three months, from about 400,000 in September to more than 400,200 in December.
A spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Health and Human Services, Mary Ann Smith, said the state will continue to provide timely and accurate data.
She also said the fraud will be prosecuted.
Georgia is one of a few states that allow recipients to keep food stamps after a certain point, based on income.
The Food and Drug Administration says the rule was meant to prevent fraud.
But Smith said the law has had an unintended consequence: people with no income have received more food than people with income.
“People who don’t have any income, it makes sense that the SNAP program would be more competitive,” Smith said.
Smith said the food stamps program has been able to keep up with the growth in applications because of the large number of applications processed by the state.
She said that would likely change if the data leak becomes public.
If you have any information about the food assistance program, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).