California county food services poorest in the nation
August 20, 2013
California 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.