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Jun 17 2013

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Farm bill to affect the hungry

The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) released estimates today of the serious impact that a House-proposed farm bill could have on federal SNAP (food stamps) benefits and the struggling Texans who rely on them. A similar bill with fewer cuts passed the Senate Monday evening.

The most drastic change under debate, to a state policy known as “Categorical Eligibility,” could dramatically impact the Texas food retail sector, eliminate millions of meals for hungry families and cut 171,000 Texans off food assistance immediately.

“We shouldn’t be cutting the deficit on the backs of Texas children, seniors and the disabled,” said Celia Cole, CEO of the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN). “These are the majority of SNAP recipients in Texas. These are our vulnerable neighbors who will suffer from these cuts.”

TFBN made impact estimates available for every Texas county on its website, TFBN. org. “Categorical eligibility” is a policy that allows Texas to set SNAP eligibility guidelines in order to help low-income families develop savings, or own a reliable car so they can seek or keep employment.

“Taking flexibility away from states to help families achieve financial stability is not sound policy,” said Cole. “These cuts will create a huge meal gap that charities like our food banks will be unable to fill. We urge Congress to reject any farm bill that that will hurt needy families.”

AREA           DOLLARS LOST          MEALS ELIMINATED               TEXANS REMOVED

Texas            $1,098,308,329           481,714,179                               71,091

Bexar Cty      $87,042,876                38,176,700                                 13,559

Dallas Cty     $117,004,016              51,317,551                                 18,227

Harris Cty     $174,109,102              76,363,641                                 27,122

Tarrant Cty   $66,329,382                29,091,834                                 10,333

Travis Cty     $34,232,230                15,014,136                                  5,333

The Texas Food Bank Network provides a unified voice among food banks in support of their common mission to end hunger in Texas. Learn more at TFBN.org.

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