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Food Stamp Fallout

POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:26pm

EL PASO--- At Barron's Superette, more than half of the customers here have one thing in common; they're on the Lone Star Food Stamp program.

"They've always been good to me, as far as any benefits, they've always been good to me. I don't have no complaints," said Ramon Guillen, one of the more than 167,000 El Pasoans enrolled in food stamp assistance.

For a dozen years, Guillen and his family have shopped the grocery aisles with no problem, but recently they've heard horror stories from friends.

"Most people, the workers there, they tend to put it on the side and make you wait and wait, when the families, we need it," he said.

The Obama Adminstration says Texas is the worst in the nation for processing food stamp applications, creating months of delays and cutting 650,000 Texans out of benefits.
That's not all.

"If there wasn't so many delays, I believe we'd get more sales," said Robert Barron, Jr., one of the grocer's co-owners.

If the application process was quicker, more El Pasoans in his area might be shopping in his store, Barron said. His potential profit? $300,000, he said.

In fact, with that amount of money, Barron said he could hire another three employees, therefore fueling the economy.

But without those potential customers...

"Of course less profit, less jobs, and with less jobs you're hurting the economy. It's a revolving cycle," said Barron.

Texas has hired an extra 700 field workers to process those applications quicker but the feds say there's still a lot of red tape keeping applicants from getting the benefits.

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