Frustration over food stamp backlog
It's a sign of a still struggling economy. The state welfare division said more people are applying for food stamps and the system is overloaded.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
CREATED Aug. 8, 2012
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a sign of a still struggling economy. The state welfare division said more people are applying for food stamps and the system is overloaded.
"Like I found these real cheap they were on clearance for 91 cents," Jeanette Tuminaro said as she showed Action News her pantry full of food. But it wasn't always this plentiful. She said her food stamps came late this month and that's when she contacted Action News for answers.
"That's why I called you because I was concerned that this was something that isn't just me," Tuminaro said.
It turns out, Tuminaro's right. Action News checked with the welfare division and officials said more people are applying for food stamps this summer. Most people are using the new online application and the system is backed up.
"That is our main focus right now, to make sure those food stamps are to the public timely," social services manager, Patrick Williams, said.
Williams said 85 percent of the food stamp applications are processed within a month's time as required by law, but others will have to wait at least a week longer for their stamps. It's those who can't afford to wait that concern Tuminaro.
"People aren't asking for food stamps just to ask for food stamps they really need the assistance," Tuminaro said. "It's affecting more than just a few people. This is something where the government shouldn't have let this happen."
The welfare division said there are 355,000 people on food stamps -- that's 66 percent more than last year.
The division has hired 50 positions to help speed up the process.
Officials said people applying for food stamps should still apply online and make sure they have the required documentation.It's a sign of a still struggling economy. The state welfare division said more people are applying for food stamps and the system is overloaded.