‘Callous’ – Rep. Lewis blasts state over food stamps
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-5th released a statement on Thursday saying the state of Georgia has, “become callous and indifferent to the needs of its most vulnerable people” in response to the state’s troubles with its food stamps program.
Atlanta’s 11 Alive has documented the issue well. The state had a backlog of tens of thousands of cases of people applying to receive food stamps, Medicaid and social services. The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent a letter on Monday threatening to cut $15 million in funds if the state didn’t start addressing the issue. As 11 Alive reports, the state Department of Human Services managed to reduce the backlog, but the smaller backlog is “still proof the USDA says, that even with mandated overtime, the process in place can’t meet the needs of those it serves.” To read the 11 Alive article, click here.
Here is the full statement from Rep. Lewis about the situation:
“The state of Georgia seems to have become callous and indifferent to the needs of its most vulnerable people. The poor, the seniors, and the sick must travel to a state office and pay for an ID card just to register to vote. The ill and the suffering will receive no relief from the expansion of Medicaid. People who feared they might lose their homes can’t receive help in time to save themselves from foreclosure, even though millions of dollars were allocated by the federal government to the hardest hit states. And now the hungry, who are looking for Georgia to offer a safety net of support are victimized by poor management, even when federal money is available.
“Somewhere I read that as you have done to the least of these, so you have done it to me. The state of Georgia needs to be evenhanded in its administration. It cannot operate competently in some cases and incompetently in others. It must serve all the people –the poor and the rich, the sick and the able-bodied, the hungry and the well-fed–justly. It seems that our food stamp program in Georgia is not receiving the human resources and management expertise it demands in order to meet the needs of the people it was created to serve. That is not right, not fair or just. The state needs to fix the systemic and backlog problems immediately.”