Food Stamp Backlog Causing Families To Wait Longer

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The State of Texas is already facing a lawsuit over the delays, but Health and Human Service officials say they're desperately trying to solve the backup. 

In the meantime, many families are finding themselves in a tough situation.

"I tried looking for a job, but it's hard, they think it's that easy. I'm trying to make rent," Food Stamp Applicant, Lisa Subia, said.

For Subia and her 4 children, food stamps are her last resort, but lately waiting on her application to go through is taking longer than she ever expected. 
"It's always a back and forth problem with them. We come in and it takes hours and it's a lot of hassle," Subia said.

The entire State of Texas is overwhelmed with food stamp applications, leading to major delays and now they're asking local organizations like the West Texas Food Bank to help with the problem.

"There's been a tremendous backlog. We got a grant from the state to help with filling out applications for people; the bottle neck is the approval process, not the application process," Hyta Folsom, with the West Texas Food Bank, said.

Typically it takes at least 30 days for food stamp applications to get processed, but lately the wait can be up to 60 days.

"Since the economy changed, a lot of people are needing help when they never had help before, this is a whole new world for them," Social Services Worker, Juanita Hill, said.

For many other families like Subia's, waiting on foods stamps may be the only option they have.

"I guess I can try to find someone else who can help me. I don't really know what else to do," Subia said.

Just last month, the State reported that 200,000 people applied for food stamps. The State is still trying to hire at least 300 more case workers to handle processing applications.