The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.

Recent Food/Nutrition Publications

76,000 Texans Estimated to Lose Food Stamps Under Federal Budget Proposal (12/14/2005)
Congress will soon decide whether to eliminate food stamp benefits for about 255,000 low-income Americans, including about 76,000 Texans. The cuts are contained in the U.S. House of Representative’s budget reconciliation bill passed on November 18. This bill would cut more than $700 million in food stamp benefits over the next six years, making Texas the hardest hit among the states, with Texans shouldering approximately 30% of the food stamp cuts. Most of the families who would lose benefits are low-wage workers with children. By contrast, the Senate’s version of the bill makes no cuts to the Food Stamp Program. This policy analysis examines the proposed food stamp cuts and their impact on Texas.

U.S. House Votes to Cut Food Stamps at the Same Time USDA Finds Texas Leading Nation in Rate of Households at Risk of Hunger (10/31/2005)
On Friday, the House Agriculture Committee terminated food stamp assistance for 300,000 vulnerable people on the very day that the USDA announced that Texas leads the nation in the percentage of households at risk of going hungry (16 percent). Nationwide, 4.4 million people suffered food insecurity last year, almost a million people more than the previous year. “Food insecure” households are those that had difficulty buying enough food because they could not afford it.

U.S. Senate Passes Amendment Prohibiting Privatization of Food Stamp Program Operations (09/26/2005)
Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the 2006 agricultural appropriations bill with an amendment that prohibits states from using federal funds if they privatize more than 10% of their Food Stamp Program operations. If the amendment is successful, it would prevent Texas from going forward with its plans to privatize Food Stamp enrollment under the contract it signed with Accenture in June (which also includes enrollment in CHIP, Medicaid, and TANF cash assistance).

Call to Action: Tell Congress to Oppose Cuts to the Food Stamp Program (07/19/2005)
Congress is considering making $3 billion in cuts to the Food Stamp Program and other federal food programs over the next five years. These cuts would be achieved through policy changes that would restrict access to Food Stamps, either across the board or for certain populations, such as immigrants or working families. The Agriculture Committees in charge of the food programs are expected to make recommendations to Congress for achieving these cuts by September 16, 2005. Sign onto a national letter circulating in opposition to the proposed Food Stamp cuts and to get Food Stamp enrollment and benefits data for your area. Deadline to sign on is Friday, July 22, 2005.

Texas Makes Better Use of Federal Resources for Summer Meal Programs; More is Needed to Reach Needy Children (06/16/2005)
Texas has increased the number of low-income children served by federally funded summer nutrition programs since 2000, but still lags far behind the performance of most states, according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, D.C. Texas uses two federally funded meal programs to feed children for free during the summer: the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Hunger Awareness Day Comes at a Vulnerable Time for Texas (06/6/2005)
Tomorrow, June 7, is National Hunger Awareness Day, a day designed to increase awareness of the need to protect America’s nutrition programs. Hunger Awareness Day is particularly timely this year, given that funding to Food Stamps and other nutrition programs is in jeopardy. Food Stamps are particularly important in Texas, given limited funding for food and other social services at the state level.

School Lunch, Food Stamp Bills Moving in the Legislature (05/10/2005)
HB 2578"School Meals (Rep. Eddie Rodriguez) and HB 420"Food Stamps (Rep. Elliott Naishtat) are moving in the legislature. HB 2578 would make determining eligibility for free or reduced price school lunch easier for schools and families. It would ensure that as many eligible children as possible receive lunch at school. HB 420 would lift the ban that currently bars persons convicted of drug felonies from ever receiving Food Stamps.

HB 420--Lifting the Ban on Food Stamps for Drug Felons (05/5/2005)
The Center for Public Policy Priorities urges your support of HB 420 by Representative Naishtat. The lifetime ban on food stamps for people convicted of a drug felony harms Texas communities. By taking away the supports former prisoners need to make the transition from prison, we encourage recidivism, break up families, and perpetuate a discriminatory system of imprisoning the poor, who are disproportionately people of color. Texas also loses out on federal funds that could be used to help people with drug felon convictions reestablish themselves as productive, lawful members of our society. Without the support of Food Stamps, these people must rely on state, local, or privately funded services, which are limited.

HB 2578 - Relating to the School Meals Program (04/26/2005)
The Center for Public Policy Priorities supports HB 2574. Why encourage school districts to offer free meals to all students? The link between adequate nutrition and improved academic performance creates a clear incentive for Texas to increase participation in the school breakfast and lunch programs, particularly among low-income children.

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