California county food services poorest in the nation

August 20, 2013

foodCalifornia has the dubious honor of being the state that keeps more of its poor residents who qualify for food stamps from receiving them than any other. [LATimes]

Only about half of Californians who qualify for food stamps receive them, which leaves hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money from reaching the state.

While the federal government pays for almost the entire food stamp program, states get the economic boost with more people with money to spend on groceries. And states are responsible for administering the programs, which are operated through county social services agencies.

States such as Florida actually pay contractors to scour the landscape to find people to enroll in the program.

It is quite the opposite in California which has onerous paperwork requirements and poorly run county social services departments.

One mother of three in San Luis Obispo has been battling to receive food stamps for five months.

The 33-year-old, we are not naming to protect her privacy, works 35 hours a week at minimum wage. She had been receiving food stamps and $200 a month in child support.

The mother of three took her ex-husband to court to increase her family’s child support payments which a judge raised to $1,200 a month about five months ago. She then informed San Luis Obispo County Social Services that she would be having an increase in income.

However, her ex shortened his hours and her child support payments actually dropped with her receiving as little as $50 a month. Even though social services was given documentation that the child support payment requirements were not being met, county staff kept responding to requests for food stamps with a denial claiming the family was receiving $1,200 a month in child support.

Unable to feed her children and pay for her apartment, the mother was forced to move in with an ill and permanently disable family member while she tries to get the county staffers to review her case.




  1. Truth Hurts says:

    Does anyone else on here feel that it is not the public’s problem to feed someone else’s kids. You had your little bundles of joy….you feed them…food is not all that expensive. Most of the money given for EBT cards is wasted. 7-11 takes them…what a joke… A minimum wage job is for people with little or no skill…next we are going to hear that we should pay everyone a great wage because they “deserve it”. I worked my ass off always working and going to college to have a good paying job…what did you do…graduate high school and pop out some puppies and expect us to pay for them? Please post a picture of the family on here I will almost bet they are overweight and don’t look like they missed a meal. And bets?

    (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
  2. Tammy says:

    Nope, he lives in Paso. I had to leave the state, to Alaska for a good paying job to support them. My son is off at college, which I pay for and my daughter lives with another family, because daddy o there in Paso lives above the Pine Street Saloon and has no room for her. He in turn gives the family,a working father and mother, his food stamp card to compensate them for farming her out (fraud). My daughter can come live with me, but taking a teenage girl away from her friends and boyfriend isn’t easy. Courts give her a choice, but don’t require the father to work, and put a roof over her head. In January I get her her first car so she can go get a job and learn the value or work, build self esteem and self respect unlike her father. I hope I am a much better example. Before I left to work in this great state of Alaska to support my children, many said to me, “how can you leave your kids”? I said, “How could I not and be reduced to unemployment, poverty, food stamps, or even a part time wine tasting room position. I had too much to do, too much to pay for. I could then be of no use to them. Since I left, I’ve bought my son his first car, put braces on his teeth and have sent him off to college. I could never have done that with the opportunities in Paso Robles. I’ve shown them hope instead of hopelessness.

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  3. Tammy says:

    my ex-husband is on food stamps and is committing fraud. I’ve complained to agencies and no one will do anything about it, or listen to me. County employees that work for the state just let it happen and could care less. It’s not their money and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get rewarded for the more people they sign up, regardless of fraud.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
  4. Rambunctious says:

    If you ask me this story is a shining example of the idiocy of the elected officials that represent this state. If you have a chance to get back from the feds what is yours you should do it. Why denigrate Florida for making sure the feds give to Florida what is rightfully theirs? It’s called intelligent representation. Maybe it’s high time California places more Republicans in office so our mothers and their kids can eat. Hmmmmm?

    (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
  5. Rambunctious says:

    “One mother of three in San Luis Obispo has been battling to receive food stamps for five months.” What has she and HER children been eating for 5 months?

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  6. Robert1 says:

    11 states with more people on welfare than employed-

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  7. SLOBIRD says:

    I find this hard to believe because when you to some of the locals stores and watch how many of the shoppers present their cards to buy their food. Easy to spot because they pay cash for the soda, beer and etc. They get these food stamp cards and are still eligible to go to the Food Bank Outlets and load up there. Then the kids get breakfast, lunch, snacks and in some cases dinner at the schools, and the lunch programs have been extended into the summer time now. They can always go to the homeless shelter and get a meal there as well. Surely no one has to go hungry.

    My professional experience tells me that this story is incomplete unless policies have changed big time. If she is earning minimum wages (approx. $250 weekly take home x 4 weeks = $1000, $200 monthly child support = $1200 monthly income for a family of 4) she would have qualified for additional support including housing and there are currently openings for qualified families at the housing authority. Something does not sound right in this case example, just saying!

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
    • Zuma7 says:

      I don’t believe a word of it either. It’s all BS,

      The whole country is aware, California has been known as the “Welfare” state for over 50 years. It’s not about to change.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • thinkaboutit says:

      While we’re judging all of the food stamp users out there, how many of us utilize Federal assistance to obtain mortgages and loan modifications, receive lower utility costs, government subsidized rebates (for auto purchases or appliances), debt forgiveness, medical or dental care, stimulus-funded or other government-backed education or employment, reduced college tuition via grants, and government loans?

      If that’s the case, then according to your logic, anyone on these taxpayer funded programs had better not be buying beer or soft drinks, either.

      But hey…”just saying.”

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  8. unlisted says:

    Has she asked the county to force her spouse to pay child support? That may help with both the child support and food stamps. But, then again, it might not.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • Karen Velie says:

      Yes she has. She says they are not responding.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • Tammy says:

      it won’t help. My ex owes me $30,000 in back support and no agency has ever helped me collect. I have been robbed and I’m still being robbed because I pay for everything to support my two children, while the other parent pays nothing and will not seek employment and has never been forced to seek employment by any court or agency. I have no recourse, technically, if someone stole $30,000 from another, they would be in jail wouldn’t they. It’s called financial crimes against the family, neglect to support minors = a crime that is allowed to continue by agencies that claim to serve and protect. I don’t buy it.

      (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
      • Citizen says:

        If your ex is living in another state, the county can request that state to collect the child support and they will bring him into court to require him to pay or give a good reason why he isn’t working (like paralyzed from the neck down) and will garnish his wages. If he lives in California, it’s almost impossible to get any action. The system just doesn’t work.

        (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down

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