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One-Third Of Texans Eligible For Food Stamps Not Getting Help

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An advocacy group says only two-thirds of Texans who may be eligible for food stamp assistance received the benefits in 2011.

The report from the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) estimates about $3 billion in the federal assistance went unused statewide.

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday approved its version of a farm bill. The House proposal would cut about $2.5 billion a year from the food stamp program — smaller cuts that proposed by the Senate.

Monday’s food bank report is called “SNAPshot: Who Benefits from Food Stamps in Texas?” Food stamps are known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The report says Texas in 2011 had more than 6.1 million people eligible for benefits but only about 4.1 million received assistance.

Texas Food Bank Network CEO Celia Cole said, “These numbers put the lie to claims that SNAP is over-used or subject to massive fraud. Critics of SNAP should stop blaming poor people for their problems, or SNAP for the nation’s problems.”

According to the TFBN, 42-percent of Texas SNAP households currently have some form of earned income, just not enough to make ends meet.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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