PUBLIC BENEFITS: FOOD/NUTRITION


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

Statement: New Report Shows Texas Falls Short in Summer Meal Programs (06/8/2012)

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released a national analysis today that shows Texas’ participation in the Summer Food Programs remains low. Only 9.4 percent of low-income kids received summer meals on an average day in July 2011, according to the Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation report. Texas’ poor performance, which is lower than the national average of 1 in 7, means missed meals for children and missed dollars for the state. Texas families can find nearby summer meal sites and more information by calling 2-1-1 or through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s website.

The Center Joins Anti-Hunger Partners to Launch Texas Hunger Research Project Website (06/7/2012)

The center is excited to join with our partners to launch a new website, the Texas Hunger Research Project.

The website is maintained through a collaborative effort between three Texas anti-hunger organizations: Texas Hunger Initiative at Baylor University, the Texas Food Bank Network, and CPPP. The site will serve as a clearinghouse for hunger and nutrition-related data, research, and publications. County and state-level statistics on participation in federal nutrition assistance programs along with other relevant indicators will be available and updated as new data is released.

Encouraging Healthy Food Purchases: Alternatives to Restricting Choices in SNAP (05/30/2012)

While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides low-income Americans with resources they need to avoid going hungry, it can also be an important contributor to the fight against obesity. Recent research has found that the more SNAP benefits a household received, the more their vegetable, dairy, and meat consumption improved. Low-income Americans who are not participating in the SNAP program or receive relatively low levels of SNAP benefits have been found to be at a significantly higher risk of being overweight or obese than those on the program.

HHSC Enhances Online Eligibility Portal (05/23/2012)

In April, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) launched the newest version of its web-based, “self-service benefit portal.” The new self-service portal is designed to streamline the way that eligibility for benefits is determined. At YourTexasBenefits.com, clients can access information about their application status or benefits from any computer, anytime.

HHSC Enhances Online Eligibility Portal (05/23/2012)

In April, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) launched the newest version of its web-based, “self-service benefit portal.” The new self-service portal is designed to streamline the way that eligibility for benefits is determined. At YourTexasBenefits.com, clients can access information about their application status or benefits from any computer, anytime.

School Budget Cuts Threaten to Increase Summer Childhood Hunger (05/10/2012)

Texas households experience food insecurity at a rate of nearly 19 percent (one of the highest in the nation). Kids without access to meals are less likely to perform well in school and more likely to be at risk of poor health. While most children have access to meals during the year through the national school lunch program, participation in summer nutrition programs is drastically low, causing food insecurity rates to jump during summer months.

Cuts to SNAP Will Hurt Texas Families Struggling to Afford Food (04/19/2012)

The center on yesterday’s vote by the U.S. House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps).

“Yesterday’s vote by the U.S. House of Representative’s Agriculture Committee to cut SNAP by $33 billion will hurt the families struggling to afford food in this time of high unemployment and economic distress. A cut of this magnitude would affect over 300,000 Texas families who will struggle to put food on the table without the support SNAP provides. SNAP was designed to expand when unemployment is high and contract as economic conditions improve. In this way the program assures that Texans stay healthy during period of job loss and stimulates our struggling economy. Cuts to this program will only weaken our nation’s ability to weather these rough economic times and return to prosperity."

We Must Maintain Our Investment in SNAP: An Efficient, Effective Way to Prevent Hunger and Reduce Food Insecurity (03/7/2012)

The center on the Congressional House Government Oversight Committee hearing on fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps).

“The Center for Public Policy Priorities shares the federal government’s commitment to safeguard taxpayer dollars and applauds USDA’s success, in partnership with the states, at reducing SNAP fraud to historic lows. Given its efficiency and effectiveness at preventing hunger and reducing food insecurity, we call on Congress to maintain its investment in SNAP and reject any efforts to cut benefits or otherwise undermine the program’s ability to fight hunger.

“SNAP, which helps low-income individuals and families supplement their food resources, is critical in Texas where one in six families struggle to afford food. Over three-quarters of the 3.6 million Texans who receive SNAP benefits are children, seniors, or persons with disabilities. To qualify, a family’s net earnings must be below the federal poverty level, $22,350 for a family of four. The majority of SNAP households include someone who works, and program rules require all able-bodied adults to work to receive benefits."

Feeding Minds: Texas Takes on Hunger and Obesity (02/22/2012)

"Feeding Minds: Texas Takes on Hunger and Obesity" is a documentary film that explores the overlapping challenges of childhood hunger and obesity, and what seven cities in Texas are doing to solve this problem.

New Report on School Breakfast Shows Texas Outperforms Most States; Houston ISD Ranks 3rd Among America’s Big Cities (01/30/2012)

Two new national reports on the National School Breakfast Program demonstrate Texas’ strong commitment to improving the nutrition, health, and academic achievement of its students by providing them a nutritious start to the school day.

National Call-In Day to Urge Congress to Protect SNAP, Child Nutrition Programs in Deficit Reduction Plan (11/17/2011)

The U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committees have recommended a $4 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) over the next 10 years as part of the deficit reduction plan being developed in Congress. A cut of this magnitude would harm thousands of low-income Texas families who struggle to put food on the table. It would also harm the food industry, Texas agriculture, food retailers and cost jobs. Our state and local economies receive an enormous boost from SNAP spending, particularly during a recession. Last year, 3.6 million Texans received SNAP assistance, pouring over $5 billion into the economy and generating a total of $9.1 billion in overall economic activity. Low-income Texans should not be asked to bear the burden of budget cuts. Congress has smarter and fairer ways at its disposal to balance the budget and resolve our long-term deficit problem, through a balanced package of selected tax increases and careful spending cuts.

Federal Report Illustrates Low-income Texans Struggle to Afford Good Nutrition (09/7/2011)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report that illustrates the struggle low-income Texans face in affording a consistent and nutritious diet. The USDA report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2010, reveals that almost one in five Texas households (18.8 percent, or 1.7 million households) were food insecure between 2008 and 2010, compared to 14.6 percent of households nationwide. Over one-third of these households (6.9 percent) are classified as having very low food security"the more severe condition associated with food insecurity"compared to 5.6 percent of U.S. households. Texas ranks second in the nation for the highest percentage of food insecure households, and is tied for third in the share of households experiencing very low food security.

Statement on HHSC Earning $6.2 Million in Incentives for Accuracy in SNAP Payments (06/16/2011)

Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded performance bonuses to the states with the best payment accuracy rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) in fiscal 2010. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) earned $6.2 million in payment incentives for its performance in two categories: best payment accuracy and most improved payment accuracy. Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) Senior Policy Analyst Celia Cole released the following statement.

“CPPP applauds HHSC Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs for his leadership, and HHSC’s frontline staff for their hard work in achieving this recognition. At 97.87 percent, Texas’ payment accuracy rate was above the national average of 96.19 percent. (Payment accuracy is measured by the amount of benefits issued accurately as a share of total benefits issued.) And at 4.77 percent, Texas’ tops the nation in most improved accuracy rate."

Proposed Federal Cuts Would Sap SNAP of Proven Ability to Help Poor, Hungry Texans (05/25/2011)

With one or more U. S. House-passed, budget-cutting proposals expected on the Senate floor for debate this week, the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) and the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) say that the cuts proposed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) would weaken the program’s proven ability to help poor and hungry Texas kids and families.

Proposals Would Weaken SNAP’s Proven Ability to Help Poor, Hungry (05/17/2011)

CPPP supports efforts to reduce obesity and encourage Texans to pursue a healthy diet. However, we are opposed to proposals currently being debated in the Texas Legislature [House Bill (HB) 1151 and HB 3451] and the United States Congress that would restrict the use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) benefits. These proposals have the potential to erode the value of SNAP benefits─already too little─and would weaken the programs proven ability to help the poorest and hungriest among us.

Legislation Would Increase Access to Healthy, Affordable Food (05/2/2011)

Senate Bill (SB) 1454, by Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., and House Bill (HB) 2414, by Representative Boris Miles, seek to improve the nutritional health of Texans by exploring ways to increase access to healthy and affordable food.

Testimony: SB 1004 Encourages Nutrition, Creates Revenue (04/19/2011)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities supports Senate Bill (SB) 1004, because it addresses two major challenges facing Texas: the need to fund a balanced approach to the 2012-13 budget, and the need to improve nutrition and curb obesity, which cost the state $9.5 billion in 2009. Imposing a tax on soft drinks could raise up to $4 billion over the biennium. Increasing the cost of soft drinks has been proven to discourage their consumption, which is associated with poor diet, high rates of obesity and risk for diabetes. Texas needs this additional revenue, along with dollars from the Rainy Day Fund, to minimize damaging cuts to public education, higher education, and health and human services.

HB 643 Will Help Kids Eat Right During the Summer (04/7/2011)

House Bill (HB) 643 would ensure more children in low-income neighborhoods have access to nutritious meals during the summer. This legislation by State Representative Eddie Rodriguez would increase the number of school districts subject to a state law requiring districts in low-income communities to operate the program. The Summer Food Program provides over $52 million in federal funds each year to low-income communities in Texas to help serve nutritious meals to children in safe, enriching environments. The Summer Food Program is critical in a state like Texas, where too many children are in poor nutritional health.

Testimony: Support for HB 3397 (03/31/2011)

CPPP supports HB 3397, which would make felony drug ex-offenders eligible to receive federally funded food assistance and employment services through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). Enabling this population to receive SNAP services would help ex-offenders to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into our communities, thereby reducing recidivism and the state cost of reincarceration. This legislation comes at a critical time for Texas, as lawmakers are considering eliminating $21.2 million for Project Rio, one of the few sources of funding for reentry services.

HB 3397 Would Help Ex-Offenders Rebuild Lives and Reintegrate into Communities (03/25/2011)

The House Human Services Committee will hear HB 3397 on Tuesday, March 29. HB 3397, by Representative Alma Allen would make felony drug ex-offenders eligible to receive federally funded food assistance and employment services through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). Enabling this population to receive SNAP services would help ex-offenders to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into our communities, thereby reducing recidivism and the state cost of reincarceration. This legislation comes at a critical time for Texas, as lawmakers are considering eliminating $21.2 million for Project Rio, one of the few sources of funding for reentry services.

Testimony on Eliminating Finger Imaging for Food Stamps (03/23/2011)

When finger imaging was first implemented, the eligibility determination process for food stamps was paper-based. At that time, there was no way for the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to electronically verify an applicant’s identify to prevent that person from applying for benefits more than once. HHSC has since deployed the TIERS system and introduced electronic third-party verification using sources such as Data Broker and other electronic interfaces. This technology provides HHSC with more cost-effective tools to verify applicant information and confirm identify.

Celia Cole provided testimony to the House Committee on Human Services on HB 710, explaining that the finger imaging requirement for food stamps both undermines HHSC’s efforts to develop more efficient eligibility and enrollment processes, and costs the state of Texas millions in crucial taxpayer dollars.

News Release — Early Christmas: New Law Increases Investment in Child Nutrition Programs (12/21/2010)
(AUSTIN, Texas)"Low-income children in Texas received an early Christmas present last week. On December 13, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law, which increases investment in the Child Nutrition Programs: School Breakfast and Lunch, Women Infants and Children (WIC), which provides food benefits and nutrition counseling to new mothers and children with a nutritional risk, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which reimburses day care providers and afterschool programs for the meals and snacks they serve to low-income children and seniors in their care.

Plaintiffs Dismiss Federal Food Stamp Lawsuit Sustaining Progress Up to the Legislature (09/1/2010)

On July 31, 2009, Stacy Howard and Linda Thornberg on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated filed a class action in federal district court against the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission for failure to comply with federal timeliness standards in processing applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called Food Stamps.

State Auditor's Report on Supplemental Nutrition Provides Blueprint for Fixing Eligibility System (03/30/2010)

The State Auditor’s office released a report today on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The report provides a blueprint for restoring access to SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps) and fixing the state’s eligibility and enrollment system for SNAP, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. HHSC’s Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs requested the audit to inform his efforts to end severe delays in SNAP application processing. The delays cause food hardship to tens of thousands of needy Texans struggling to feed their families in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Fighting Hunger, Improving Nutrition: Progress and Opportunities in the Texas Legislature (01/22/2010)

CPPP senior food and nutrition policy analyst Celia Hagert delivered this presentation on "fighting hunger, improving nutrition" to the Texas Food Policy Roundtable, a new initiative founded by the Christian Life Commission of the General Baptist Convention of Texas.

Expanding the Reach of the Summer Food Program (12/21/2009)

Texas has one of the largest School Lunch Programs in the nation, serving meals to more than 2.5 million low-income children every day. The Summer Food Program is intended to serve the same population, yet it reaches only a fraction of the low-income children who eat lunch during the school year. This paper compares participation in the Summer Food Program to participation in the School Lunch Program for each county in Texas. It documents Texas’ progress in the Summer Food Program, explores the barriers to participation, and makes recommendations for expanding the reach of the program in Texas.

New Federal Report Shows One-in-Six Texas Households Struggled with Hunger as Recession Hit (11/16/2009)

Policy Institute Urges State to Fix Eligibility System to Get Help to Hungry Texans

Austin, Texas"The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) today pointed to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to show the urgent need for Texas to fix its system for enrolling needy families in the Food Stamp program. USDA reports 16.3 percent of Texas households struggled to afford food during 2006-2008. Nationally, 12.2 percent or more than 17 million households were food insecure in 2008 " up from 13 million in 2007 and 12.6 million in 2000. The 2008 figures represent the highest level of household food insecurity observed since the survey was initiated in 1995.

Federal Government Demands State Take Immediate Action to Help Struggling Texans While State Dithers, Denying HHSC Request for Critical Eligibility Staff (09/28/2009)

Austin, Texas"The Center for Public Policy Priorities today condemned the Legislative Budget Board’s (LBB) denial of a request from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to fund hundreds of new eligibility staff for our state’s overwhelmed public benefits system. The new staff would be an essential step toward fixing our system, which cannot process applications timely or accurately. LBB’s denial comes as the state faces an increased need for public safety net services during the worst economic climate in a generation, a demand by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on September 24 for immediate corrective action, and a private class-action lawsuit against the state for failure to meet federal Food Stamp timeliness standards.

Recommendations to USDA for Ending Hunger by 2015 and Reducing Child Obesity (09/10/2009)
CPPP Senior Policy Analyst Celia Hagert offered recommendations to USDA on reducing childhood obesity and ending hunger.

New Report Shows Texas Is Missing Out on Millions in Unclaimed SNAP Benefits (09/9/2009)

Austin, Texas"The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP), Houston Food Bank, and San Antonio Food Bank today highlighted the findings of a new report revealing millions in unclaimed federal benefits available for hungry Texans, as well as newly-calculated data showing the significant effect of anti-hunger stimulus spending on the Texas economy.

Hunger in America's Classrooms: Share Our Strength's Teacher Project (09/4/2009)

This summer, Share Our Strength, a national organization that works to prevent child hunger in America, is talking with teachers across the country about child hunger in their classrooms. The Hunger in America's Classrooms: Share Our Strength's Teacher Project is intended to raise awareness about child hunger in America and build a movement of Americans dedicated to ending it. You can help by spreading the word to teachers across Texas.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission Sued for Failure to Meet Federal Food Stamp Timeliness Guidelines (08/3/2009)

Austin, Texas"On Friday, July 31, 2009, the Texas Legal Services Center (TSLC) and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ) filed a class action complaint in U.S. District Court against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for failure to process Food Stamp applications within the timeframes required by federal law.

Food Stamp Bills Waiting to be Scheduled for a Floor Vote in House (04/30/2009)

Three bills by Rep. Naishtat relating to the Food Stamp Program passed the House Human Services Committee and have been sent to the House Calendars Committee to be scheduled for a vote by the full House: HB 1627, HB 612, and HB 886. These bills are designed to maximize federal food assistance to low-income Texans and/or reduce the workload of the eligibility staff who process Food Stamp applications. We urge you to call the members of the House Calendars Committee today and ask them to schedule these bills for a vote as soon as possible.

HB 2636 Would Increase Child Support Collections and Strengthen Low-Income Families (03/27/2009)

Historically, federal and state welfare policies focused on moving low-income, custodial parents off of public assistance and into the workforce, and very little attention was paid to the circumstances of low-income non-custodial parents. Texas’ Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) Choices program, a pilot program administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and the Office of the Attorney General’s Child Support Division, expanded the reach of state welfare programs to include non-custodial parents. NCP Choices, which focuses on increasing the earnings of non-custodial parents who owe child support, shows that placing a greater emphasis on low-income, non-custodial fathers is a highly effective strategy to lift families out of poverty and improve child well-being. HB 2636 would expand this pilot program to make NCP Choices services available in every child support office in the state. This Policy Page explains how NCP Choices works and why this cost-effective, successful, and innovative program should be expanded.

The Texas Recovery Plan (03/25/2009)

Public structures such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Unemployment Insurance were created to help families in tough economic times and to help the economy recover from a down cycle. These are indeed tough times"we face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Tragically, many Texans are becoming aware for the first time of the crumbling nature of many of our public structures, weakened by years of neglect when times were good. Now that times are tough, we find our systems unprepared. Fortunately, though, the new federal economic recovery law makes resources available to help repair and improve these systems, which will in turn energize economic activity and get Texas on the road to recovery.

But, Texas will only get the federal funds"and the needed improvements to our public structures"if state policymakers make the right choices, soon.

Food Stamp Bills Would Maximize Federally Funded Food Assistance to Needy Texans (03/24/2009)

The House Human Services Committee will hear two Food Stamp bills on Thursday, March 26, that would maximize federal funding to provide food assistance for needy Texans. HB 1627 would use the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) program to maximize Food Stamp benefits for currently eligible families. HB 612 would eliminate the current ban on Food Stamps for drug felons. This Policy Page explains these bills and summarizes the arguments for adopting these changes to Food Stamp policy in Texas.

Federal Economic Recovery Legislation and Texas (02/13/2009)

Today, Congress released the details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provides $789 billion to stimulate the economy. Many of these measures will also help protect vulnerable Texans during this economic downturn. To take full advantage of the benefits in the recovery package and set our economy on the road to recovery, Texas must plan immediately. We applaud Speaker Joe Straus for appointing the Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, charged with monitoring federal action and suggesting to standing committees needed steps to qualify for federal economic recovery funds. This paper summarizes the portions of the bill that affect the state budget.

Lack of Participation in School Breakfast Means Missed Meals for Children and Missed Federal Dollars for Texas (01/14/2009)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities today highlighted a national report on school breakfast programs that showed Texas ranks higher than most states in providing school breakfast to low-income students, but still fails to reach many students. This caused Texas to lose out on more than $30 million in related federal funds. According to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) School Breakfast Scorecard, Texas ranks 5th among the states in missed federal dollars tied to the school breakfast program.

Emergency Food Stamps for Hurricane Ike Victims (09/16/2008)
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) received approval today from the federal government to provide Emergency Food Stamps to victims of Hurricane Ike. Families must have limited income to qualify, but will only need to provide proof of identity and residence in one of the 29 counties declared a federal disaster area.

Recommendations for the 2009 Child Nutrition Programs Reauthorization (07/15/2008)
Senior Policy Analyst Celia Hagert delivered testimony in a public hearing held by the USDA in Austin on July 15, 2008. Her recommendations for reauthorization of child nutrition programs include improving access, meal quality and nutrition in school breakfast and lunch, summer nutrition, afterschool and child and adult care food programs.

Recommendations for the 2009 Child Nutrition Programs Reauthorization (07/15/2008)
Senior Policy Analyst Celia Hagert delivered testimony in a public hearing held by the USDA in Austin on July 15, 2008. Her recommendations for reauthorization of child nutrition programs include improving access, meal quality and nutrition in school breakfast and lunch, summer nutrition, afterschool and child and adult care food programs.

Newly Passed Farm Bill will Help 890,000 More Texans (05/30/2008)
With rising gas and food prices, families need help putting food on the table now more than ever. Nationally, the cost of groceries is up dramatically, especially staples like eggs (up 25% in the last year), milk (up 17%), cheese (up 15%), bread (up 12%), and rice (up 13%). Earlier this month, Congress passed the Farm Bill, expanding the Food Stamps, Emergency Food Assistance, School Meals, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable programs. This bill will help low-income Americans during these harder times. Thanks to the Farm Bill, Texas will receive $674 million in new money for nutrition assistance over the next nine years, according to the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Not only that, but nearly 900,000 more Texans will receive additional Food Stamp benefits in 2012.

Texas Schools Lead Nation in Providing Meals to Children (12/11/2007)
Ninety-nine percent of Texas schools participate in the national School Breakfast Program, ranking Texas 7th best in the country, according to a report released today by the national Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The report, School Breakfast Scorecard 2007, also finds that more than a million low-income Texas children are eating breakfast at school. Despite its relative success compared to other states, there is room for expansion. For every 100 low-income children that participated in the School Lunch Program in Texas, only 53 also ate breakfast.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Farm Bill “Cloture” Vote In Senate Tomorrow (12/6/2007)
Your calls to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn are urgently needed now in support of a new motion to force the Senate to finish its work on the 2007 Farm Bill and pass a Farm Bill with a strong nutrition title as soon as possible in December. The bill has been stalled over disagreements on the number and types of amendments that will be in order. A key vote to break the stalemate is set for tomorrow, December 7th. Starting today and until the cloture vote on Friday, December 7th, call your Senators and urge a “yes” vote on the cloture motion on the 2007 Farm Bill. Hungry people can’t wait.

WIC Funding Crisis: Urgent Action Needed (12/4/2007)
If Congress does not provide sufficient funding for the WIC program before they go home for the December holidays, more than 56,000 low-income mothers and young children may be cut from the WIC program in Texas. Congress is developing an omnibus appropriations bill that would represent a compromise between the lower amount of spending requested by the President and the higher level approved by Congress for various programs. WIC is one of the programs that would be cut under this compromise. Please call your Senators and Representatives in their Washington, D.C. offices immediately.

The Food Stamp Program is Turning 30: Let's Make This Birthday a Happy One! (10/1/2007)
For 30 years, the Food Stamp Program has ensured that low-income Americans have the means to afford a healthy diet--strengthening families, communities, and the nation. Today, more than 2.3 million low-income Texans--most of them children, seniors, or someone with a disability--use Food Stamps to supplement their food budgets. However, cuts to the program 10 years ago have reduced the purchasing power of Food Stamps, making it harder for families to afford an adequate diet. The average family now receives only $3 per person per day for food. We can help prevent hunger by strengthening the Food Stamp Program. Act now by asking our senators to support a modest increase in the Food Stamp benefit in the 2007 Farm Bill.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day, but Not on the Schedule for Many Students (08/7/2007)
Kids need pens and notebooks to get through the school day, but they also need a healthy breakfast. Yet, a new report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, D.C., finds that in many large urban school districts, including the Houston Independent School District (HISD), most of their low-income students are not getting breakfast on a daily basis. HISD is working to change that by making breakfast part of the school day with its “First Class Breakfast” program.

Amid Controversy, Farm Bill Set for a House Vote Today (07/26/2007)
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the 2007 Farm Bill (H.R. 2419), which includes $4 billion over five years in improvements in the Food Stamp and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Texas would receive an additional $278 million dollars over the next five years. However, controversy over how to pay for the new investments may delay passage of the bill. In Texas, 2.3 million people"over 10% of the state’s population"rely on Food Stamps to afford an adequate diet. More than half of these recipients would see an increase in their Food Stamp benefits as a result of the farm bill’s increased investment in the program. Texas receives almost $2.5 billion per year in federal funding for Food Stamps, providing a significant boost to the state’s economy.

Farm Bill to be Marked Up Tomorrow: What You Can Do Today! (07/16/2007)
Starting tomorrow, the House Agriculture Committee will begin mark up on the 2007 Farm Bill. One of the most important issues in this year's Farm Bill is the future of the Food Stamp Program, which 2.3 million Texans rely on every day. Unfortunately, because of cuts made 10 years ago, the Food Stamp Program’s buying power has diminished every year. The bill to be considered tomorrow includes a $20 billion “reserve fund” to undo these cuts and increase investment in other areas of the Farm Bill, but the financing needed to make these changes in the FY 2008 Budget has not yet been identified. A straight reauthorization of the Farm Bill"with no new money for the Food Stamp Program"is essentially a cut to the program. Call your congressperson today and urge him/her to support Chairman Peterson’s “mark” and make greater investments in the Food Stamp Program.

The Texas Food Stamp Program (07/1/2007)
Get valuable background on the Texas Food Stamp Program.

Act Now: The Farm Bill is on the Table (06/11/2007)
This week the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee is expected to mark up the nutrition title of the Farm Bill. One of the most important issues Congress will address in this year's Farm Bill is the future of the Food Stamp Program, which 2.3 million Texans rely on every day. Please call your Congressperson TODAY and ask him to co-sponsor the “Feeding America’s Families Act” (H.R. 2129.

Report: Hunger Costs Texas $9 Billion a Year; This Hunger Awareness Day, Too Many Texas Kids at Risk of Hunger (06/5/2007)
According to a report released today, Hunger Awareness Day, hunger doesn’t just take a toll on the 1.3 million Texas families who experience food insecurity, but it costs the state more than $9 billion a year. The study, by the University Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, estimates this cost by calculating the annual cost for charity, illness and lowered productivity for the nation related to food insecurity. Children are at the highest risk of hunger, especially during the summer, when they can no longer eat breakfast and lunch at school. More than 2.1 million low-income Texas kids rely on free or reduced-priced meals during the school year.

Today: Fight Hunger by Making a Call! (05/22/2007)
In Texas, 2.3 million people rely on Food Stamps and more than 1.3 million people--the third highest in the nation--are food insecure. All day today, May 22, support a strong nutrition title in the 2007 Farm Bill by urging your U.S. senators and representative to support H.R. 2129.

Why the Farm Bill Matters for Texas (05/15/2007)
At the end of May, Congress will begin debating the 2007 Farm Bill, legislation that affects not just farmers, but the 2.3 million Texans who rely on Food Stamps to make ends meet. Statewide, 25% of Texas children receive Food Stamps. Nationally, roughly half of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 65 will use Food Stamps at some point in their lives when they fall on hard times. Due to program cuts in 1996, the purchasing power of Food Stamps has eroded. Families now get $40 less a month. This means that Food Stamp recipients get just $1 per meal per day, increasing their risk of running out of food before the end of the month or forcing them to buy cheaper, less healthy food. The 2007 Farm Bill is an opportunity to increase the value of Food Stamps. Read on to learn more about Food Stamp erosion and to get Food Stamp enrollment data by county.

Plenty of Food for Thought: Austin American-Statesman (05/13/2007)
Due to cuts in 1996, the purchasing power of Food Stamps has eroded. Food Stamp recipients now get just $1 per meal per day, which increases families’ risk of running out of food before the end of the month or forces them to buy cheaper, less healthy food. But don’t just take our word for it. For the week of May 15- May 21, Congressman Lloyd Doggett, the Capital Area Food Bank, and the Center for Public Policy Priorities challenge Central Texans to eat and drink only what $1 a meal"or $21 a week"can buy.

Testimony on Free School Lunch and Breakfast (04/17/2007)
Celia Hagert testified on CSHB 454 before the House Education Committee. CSHB 454 relates to the provision of free lunch and breakfast to all enrolled students in certain school districts and campuses.

Two Chances to Support Better Nutrition for Texans (04/16/2007)
The committee substitutes for House Bills 2629 (Senate companion: SB 1497 by Zaffirini) and House Bill 454 by Representative Eddie Rodriguez would improve the nutrition of low-income Texans. On April 17, CSHB 2629 has a hearing in the House Agriculture and Livestock Committee and CSHB 454 will be heard by the House Public Education Committee. Please contact the members of these committees and urge their support for these bills.

Testimony on a Pilot Program for Small Fresh Produce Retailers (04/11/2007)
Celia Hagert testified before the House Agriculture Committee on HB 2629, relating to a competitive grant pilot program for certain small retailers of fresh produce.

Comparing SB 1096 to SB 1861: Two Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches for Texas (04/9/2007)
Texas is facing greater challenges in meeting federal requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program as a result of new rules enacted by Congress in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 (DRA). Under the new federal rules, states are required to engage more TANF recipients in approved work activities or face financial penalties to their TANF block grants. SB 1096, by Senator Kyle Janek, is an attempt to help Texas meet these requirements, but it does so at the expense of the most vulnerable families. In contrast, SB 1861, by Senator Zaffirini, would increase work participation rates, protect vulnerable families, and improve the outcomes for families on and leaving welfare. This Policy Page analyzes the impact SB 1096 would have on TANF recipients and explains why SB 1861 is the better alternative to help Texas meet the federal requirements.

Support HB 854--Lift the Lifetime Ban on Food Stamps for Drug Felons (04/2/2007)
House Bill 854 by Representative Elliott Naishtat removes the lifetime ban on Food Stamps for people convicted of a drug felony. Please urge all members of the House Human Services Committee to support HB 854.

Support HB 75: Administrative Appeal of a Denial of Food Stamps or Medicaid (03/26/2007)
On March 22, House Bill 75 by Representative Elliott Naishtat was favorably voted from the House Human Services Committee. HB 75 authorizes a person denied Food Stamps or Medicaid to appeal the decision to state court. Next, HB 75 goes to the House Calendars Committee, which must decide whether and when to schedule the bill for a vote by the full House. We are asking for your help in ensuring that HB 75 gets on the House calendar as soon as possible. Please contact all members of the House Calendars Committee today and urge them to calendar HB 75 as soon as possible.

Testimony on HB 854 – Relating to the Eligibility of and Requirements Applicable to Certain Persons for Food Stamps (03/22/2007)
The Center for Public Policy Priorities supports HB 854 by Representative Naishtat, which removes the lifetime ban on Food Stamps for people convicted of a drug felony. Food stamps are 100% federally funded and can be a lifeline to ex-offenders in their attempts to rehabilitate themselves and reintegrate into society.

More Texas Children Eating Breakfast at School, but State Could Do More to Increase Participation and Federal Funds (12/7/2006)
According to a report released today by the national Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), 33,140 more Texas students have participated in the federally-funded school breakfast program since 2004. Yet despite these gains, millions of Texas school children still don’t take advantage of the program.

Answers to Summer Food Challenges: An Advocate’s Perspective (12/5/2006)
At the USDA Southwest Region's Task Force Meeting, Celia Hagert discussed the barriers involved in providing summer meals to children and the role of advocacy in helping communities overcome these barriers.

Immigrants and Food Stamps: Separating the Facts from the Fiction (11/7/2006)
Celia Hagert presented on immigrant access to food stamps at the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies' training for food stamp outreach subcontractors.

Texas Doing Right by its Kids on School Lunch: Austin American-Statesman (10/12/2006)
This week marks National School Lunch Week, a time to commemorate a program that makes it possible for every child in America to have a school lunch. It is also a time to celebrate the fact that Texas leads the nation in providing these healthy meals.

Today is Hunger Awareness Day (06/6/2006)
Today is National Hunger Awareness Day, the grassroots movement to raise awareness about the hunger crisis in America. In Texas, it is a solemn reminder that we suffer the highest rate of “food insecurity” in the nation, with 16.4% of households at risk for hunger and 4.9% of households experiencing hunger " well above the national average of 11.4% (food insecure) and 3.6% (hungry).

Problems Enrolling in Public Benefits? (04/19/2006)
Texas is using a new system to sign up for or renew Food Stamps, Children’s Medicaid/CHIP, and TANF. Some people may be having problems getting benefits using the new system, or you may be helping someone who is having a problem signing up. CPPP is not a state or federal agency and we cannot sign you up for benefits, but we can tell you who to report your problem to...

Food Stamp Issues and Challenges (04/18/2006)
Celia Hagert presented invited testimony on food stamp changes at the federal level as well as food stamp access in the new integrated eligibility system.

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.

Texas Ranks 5th in U.S. in Number of Low-Income Students Eating Breakfast at School (11/18/2004)
Texas' School Breakfast Program serves the fifth highest number of low-income children in the United States, according to a new report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, D.C.

Texas Reaching Only Half of Those Eligible for Food Stamps, Says New National Study (04/21/2004)
Even while state budgets are tight and programs are being cut back to historically low levels, Texas could still take better advantage of federal dollars to serve the hungry and food insecure, says a study released today.

Ending Hunger in Our Community: Food Security Through Food Assistance (03/1/2004)
Report to better understand the conditions that lead people to access emergency and other food sources and make recommendations to improve food access.

Flyer: Food Stamp Program Income Eligibility Guidelines (01/1/2004)
Chart gives the income eligibility limits and food stamp benefits according to family size for 10/1/03-09/30/04.

Immigrant Benefits Update (08/12/2003)
In 2002, Congress passed a law that restored eligibility for Food Stamps to legal immigrants with five years of residency in the United States and to all legal immigrant children, regardless of their length of residency in the country. The first of these restorations took effect on April 1, 2003, with the restoration for legal immigrant children to take effect on October 1, 2003.

Texas Awarded $29.1 Million for Food Stamp Program Management (07/16/2003)
This Policy Page explains the enhanced funding process and the impact that ending these important outreach efforts will have on low-income families and Texas.

Texas, U.S. Face Paradoxical Nutrition Problems (07/10/2003)
In the richest nation on earth, 13 million children do not always get enough to eat. At the same time, in an alarming, paradoxical trend, childhood obesity has joined childhood hunger on the list of serious threats to kids' nutritional health.

Flyer: More Legal Immigrants Than Ever Are Eligible to Buy Food Stamps (07/1/2003)
Details on immigrant food stamp eligibility.

Flyer: More Legal Immigrants Than Ever Are Eligible to Buy Food Stamps (En Espanol) (07/1/2003)
Details on immigrant food stamp eligibility.

Testimony on School Nutrition Programs (04/1/2003)
I am here representing the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization that works on behalf of low and moderate-income Texans, to testify in support of SB 474. While the center supports all of the provisions in this bill, my testimony focuses on the sections relating to expanding, supporting, and maintaining participation in the School Breakfast Program.

Testimony on Finger Imaging for Food Stamps (03/31/2003)
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am here representing the Center for Public Policy Priorities"a non-partisan, non-profit policy research organization seeking sound solutions to the challenges faced by low- and moderate-income Texans. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today in favor of House Bill 712.

Food Stamp Demand on the Rise, Over 3 Million Still Getting Benefits (11/26/2002)
This Policy Page examines recent trends in the Food Stamp Program, the economic impact of improving program access and participation, and the effect caseload growth will have on the state budget. County estimates of the number of Texans eligible for Food Stamps and the potential benefit revenue Texas would receive if more eligible families participated are also included.

Farm Bill Gives States New Food Stamp Options (07/12/2002)
This Policy Page summarizes the nutrition provisions in the Farm Bill and the options for states to simplify access to Food Stamps.

Good News, Bad News for Food Stamps in Congress (05/15/2002)
On Monday, May 13, President Bush signed the 2002 Farm Bill (The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002), which includes significant improvements in the Food Stamp Program. The nutrition title of the Farm Bill simplifies enrollment in the Food Stamp Program, increases benefits for larger families, restores benefits to many legal immigrants, reforms the Quality Control system by which state performance is evaluated, and authorizes an increase in funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (more detail on these changes is forthcoming). The nutrition title of the Farm Bill is being referred to as the most important piece of Food Stamp legislation since the landmark 1977 Act, 25 years ago. Unfortunately, this victory for antihunger advocates has been overshadowed by two proposals in the welfare reauthorization bill (H.R. 4700) that would do major damage to the Food Stamp Program and potentially undercut all the positive changes made in the Farm Bill. This Policy Page explains these proposals and urges our readers to contact their Representatives immediately to ask them to vote against H.R. 4700.

Clarification on Food Stamp Resource Test (05/14/2002)
In Policy Page #149, which addressed new Food Stamp Program rules regarding vehicle limits and the resource test, we incorrectly reported that an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) would no longer be counted as a resource in determining a family's eligibility for Food Stamps. In fact, because they are considered a liquid resource, IRAs are still counted toward the new $5,000 resource limit established in February. Under the new policy, most non-liquid resources are not counted, while most liquid resources are. This Policy Page provides additional detail on how resources are now treated in the Food Stamp Program.

More Support Needed for Nutrition Funding in Farm Bill (04/12/2002)
Before the Easter recess in March, House and Senate conferees agreed to $6.4 billion over 10 years for the nutrition title of the Farm Bill. When they started meeting again earlier this week to decide which specific provisions to fund, the debate on legal immigrant benefit restorations really heated up. Consequently, these restorations are in jeopardy.

Conferees Agree to $6.4 Billion for Farm Bill Nutrition Title (03/28/2002)
Congressional House and Senate conferees on the 2001 Farm Bill (H.R. 2646) have set funding for the nutrition title at $6.4 billion over the next 10 years. While lower than the $8.9 billion proposed in the original Senate version of the bill, this is a definite victory for anti-hunger advocates, who fought to increase funding for the nutrition title from the $3.6 billion allocated in the House bill. The fight is far from over, however, with conferees set to make final decisions over specific Food Stamp and other nutrition program provisions when they return from the Easter recess on April 8. This Policy Page outlines steps readers can take can take between now and April 8 to support nutrition program improvements.

Food Stamp Reauthorization Moves Forward (02/27/2002)
This Policy Page summarizes the nutrition provisions in the Farm Bills and urges readers to contact their Members of Congress immediately in support of positive changes in the Food Stamp Program.

New Food Stamp Rules Take Effect (02/5/2002)
At its December meeting, the Texas Board of Human Services approved final Food Stamp rules that 1) raise the vehicle limit on one car from $4,650 to $15,000, 2) exempt all other NON-liquid resources, and 3) establish a higher resource limit of $5,000 for liquid resources (i.e., bank accounts). The new standards apply to all applications completed after February 15. Exemptions from the finger imaging requirement for certain seniors and persons with disabilities are also now in effect. This Policy Page explains the changes and contains links to education materials that can be used by service providers and community-based organizations to publicize the new rules to clients.

Flyer: Rules Regarding Food Stamps and Vehicles Have Changed (01/1/2002)
In February, the rules changed. You may now qualify for....

Flyer: Rules Regarding Food Stamps and Vehicles Have Changed (En Espanol) (01/1/2002)
En febrero 2002, las reglas han cambiado. Ahora usted puede calificar para . . .

Flyer: You May be Able to Apply for Food Stamps Over the Phone (01/1/2002)
You may qualify for a telephone interview, if you cannot come to the office to apply for food stamps.

Flyer: You May be Able to Apply for Food Stamps Over the Phone (En Espanol) (01/1/2002)
Usted puede calificar para una entrevista por telefono, si usted no puede venir a la oficina para aplicar para estampillas de comida.

Implementation of New Food Stamp Rules Delayed (12/19/2001)
This Policy Page explains the proposed rules and urges readers to contact the Texas Department of Human Services' (DHS) board in support of the immediate implementation of these important policy changes.

New Food Stamp Rules Will Improve Access to Benefits (11/1/2001)
At its August meeting, the Texas Board of Human Services approved rules to implement a provision, which provides for new telephone interview options for Food Stamp applicants and recipients. This Policy Page explains the new rules as well as steps the anti-hunger community can take to publicize the telephone interview options to low-income Texans in need of nutrition assistance.

Food Stamp Reauthorization on Fast Track (07/21/2001)
This Policy Page discusses possible improvements to Food Stamps that could be made as part of the Farm Bill and lists IMMEDIATE steps anti-hunger advocates should take to weigh in with members of the Texas Congressional delegation in charge of these decisions.

Wrap-Up of Anti-Hunger Legislation in the 77th Session (06/7/2001)
The 77th legislature passed several important pieces of legislation this session. These bills will significantly improve access to the Food Stamp Program, provide funding for nutrition programs outreach, and assist food banks in their efforts to feed the hungry. The purpose of this Policy Page is both to inform you about these developments and to thank everyone whose hard work and support contributed to these gains in the fight against hunger.

Food Stamp Access Will Impact Medicaid Simplification (03/22/2001)
This Policy Page describes the Food Stamp bills, how they complement the Medicaid simplification bills, and what you can do to support Food Stamp simplification.

Food Stamp Decline Means Loss of Federal Funds (03/20/2001)
County Estimates of Actual vs. Potential Food Stamp Benefit Revenue in 1999.

House Set to Vote on Food Bank Bill (03/17/2001)
On Tuesday, March 20, the House will vote on whether to fund a grants program at the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to assist food banks in collecting surplus or unmarketable fresh produce offered by Texas farmers for distribution to low-income families across the state. This policy page provides background on this legislation and its importance to private, charitable efforts to feed hungry families in Texas.

Enhanced Food Stamp Funding (01/23/2001)
In August 2000, the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) received $27.9 in enhanced federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its success in improving payment accuracy and reducing fraud in the Food Stamp Program in fiscal 1999. An additional $4.9 in unspent enhanced funds received in 1999 is also available for a total of $32.9 million. Last session, the legislature directed DHS to spend $2 million of the enhanced funds received in 1999 on nutrition programs outreach. DHS' proposal to the legislature for spending the $32.9 million does not include any funding for initiatives to improve access to nutrition assistance for low-income families. This Policy Page summarizes DHS' proposal and the center's recommendations for using these funds.

Food Stamp Developments (10/9/2000)
New data from USDA show Texas has seventh worst Food Stamp participation rate; Food Stamp vehicle exemption likely to pass before Congress adjourns. This Policy Page summarizes these developments and the next steps state policymakers can take to increase Food Stamp participation among eligible families.

Food Stamps Not Reaching Many Poor (09/30/1999)
County Estimates of Number of Poor Texans Receiving Food Stamps: 1995 vs. 1999.

Summer Food Legislation Passes (06/2/1999)
This policy page outlines how this new legislation will help improve low-income children's access to the SFSP and what steps service providers and advocates can take to ensure families are aware of the summer food programs in their communities.

Anti-Hunger Bills in the 76th Legislature (03/23/1999)
Food Assistance for Legal immigrants, Funding to Expand the Summer Food Service Program, Nutrition Education and Outreach Opportunities to address childhood hunger and ensure nutrition assistance for needy families and communities.

Food and Nutrition Update (10/29/1998)
Child nutrition and WIC reauthorization bill passes Congress. Spending levels for nutrition programs for FY 99 decided in Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Agriculture Bill Restores Food Stamp Benefits to Some Legal Immigrants (08/28/1998)
In June, President Clinton signed the Agriculture Research Bill, legislation that restores federal Food Stamp eligibility for legal immigrants with disabilities and most children and elderly legal immigrants who lost their benefits under the 1996 federal welfare reform law. These restorations will cover roughly 250,000 immigrants, less than one-third of the legal immigrants originally cut off from Food Stamps. The restorations will go into effect on November 1.

FY Appropriations for Federal Nutrition Programs Underway (07/31/1998)
Critical deliberations regarding funding levels for food and nutrition programs are currently underway in Congress. Several key actions on child nutrition programs reauthorization and FY 1999 agricultural appropriations are expected before Congress leaves for the August recess.

Childless Adult Food Stamp Recipients: Old Rules, New Rules, and New Options (10/1/1997)
This policy page will review the policies impacting childless adults who receive food stamps, examine what Texas is doing, and offer some options for better serving clients.

Food and Nutrition Update (08/6/1997)
Almost a year after the passage of Welfare Reform, members of Congress managed to retain some of the benefits lost during lost year's welfare overhaul. Congressional members will adjourn for recess (August 2-September 2) and return in September to conclude appropriations for FY98 food and nutrition programs. Here is a brief look at what has passed and what is pending.

Health and Immigrant Benefit Issues Update (07/9/1997)
This Issue of Policy Page provides information on immigrant SSI changes, DSH cuts, and child health proposals included in the House and Senate Federal Budget Bills, and a status report on implementation of federal benefit cuts for legal immigrants in Texas.

Alert: Waiver for 18-50 year-old Food Stamp Recipients Reduced (03/10/1997)
The federal Welfare Bill (H.R. 3734) contains new limits on food stamp benefits for able-bodied, childless adults between the ages of 18 and 50.

Texas Moves to Implement New Food Stamp Provisions (11/27/1996)
The federal Welfare Bill (H.R. 3734) contains new limits on food stamp benefits for able-bodied, childless adults between the ages of 18 and 50. Under the new provisions, these individuals will be eligible for only three months of food stamp benefits in a 36 month period unless they work 20 hours per week, participate in a work program for 20 hours per week, or participate in a workfare program.

Critical Food Stamp Decision Are Pending (10/22/1996)
Thousands of adult recipients could lose benefits.

Food and Nutrition Programs and EITC (02/20/1996)
This edition will provide an update on current Congressional action and negotiations affecting food and nutrition programs and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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