Hard Times for Food Hardship in U.S., Texas

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February 1, 2010

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Nearly one in five Texans struggle to afford food, according to a report released last week by the Food Research and Action Center. The Lone Star State is among 20 states with food hardship rates of 20 percent or higher in 2008-2009. Food hardship among families with children was even more pronounced, with 27.2 percent of Texas families reporting difficulty affording food. The study calls for job creation measures and increased investment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and other federal nutrition programs that help families afford food during tough economic times. To rise to this challenge, Texas needs to fix the problems in its SNAP eligibility system, where staffing shortages are preventing hundreds of thousands of needy Texans from accessing food assistance. Congress can help America’s struggling families by extending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) additional unemployment benefits.