More West Texans Applying for Food Stamps

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

They never thought they'd have to ask but suddenly people who have never even laid eyes on a food bank are pleading for help, and as the economy continues to sour it's just getting worse.
The numbers are pretty surprising.

On Thursday, Texas Health and Human Services released new data. The number of Texans applying for food stamps has jumped all over the state. 

Here in West Texas agencies say there have never been so many families who just need to know where the next meal is coming from. 

In fact one local organization says the numbers are so high, it's scary.

Juanita Hill, A Social Services Outreach Coordinator with the West Texas Food Bank travels across 19 counties educating West Texans in need on how to apply for food stamps, and she's busier than ever.

"Ever since election, I've seen huge increase," she said.

This time last year she helped 141 people in the Basin fill out food stamp forms. This year she helped 393. Many have never needed this type of help. They're coming to Odessa from all over Texas and across the U.S.

And for the workers at the West Texas Food Bank it's not going to change anytime soon. 

"I don't see an end," Hill said. "This is just the beginning."

Juanita said she spends about four days each week traveling all over West Texas. 

Next week, she's headed to Alpine offering more seminars on how to fill out food stamp applications and letting families know where to go to get help.