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Texas, Second Hungriest State, Rejects Federal Aid For Child Nutrition

Texas, the second hungriest state in the U.S., turned down $450 million in federal funds to feed low-income children this summer.

The Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for Children provides low-income families with $120 to purchase food for each eligible child. In exchange, the program provides a preloaded card with $40 per month. With 3.8 million children eligible for the program, the USDA calculated that Texas could have received a total of $450 million in federal tax dollars to help children in need.

The state argued that it rejected the program because of administrative problems and costs. The federal government would cover only 50% of the administrative costs and would have given the state only six months to get everything ready for the program, which an HHSC spokesman said wasn’t enough time.

But according to an analysis by the Dallas Morning News, there may be other reasons for rejecting the program. One of those reasons is that both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have long opposed federal programs like the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.

So far, Texas has dropped nearly 1.7 million Texans from the Medicaid program, making it the state with the most removals in the country.

According to The Dallas Morning News, there were communities within the Dallas ISD that were excited about the summer EBT program, and now there will be a lot more work to do to feed the children.

Dallas Rabbi Nancy Kasten, a leader of Faith Commons, a nonprofit, said she is frustrated to see taxpayer dollars going to inefficient Republican programs, but not to actually efficient programs that could help children in need.

35 states will participate in the $2.5 billion summer EBT program, and around 13 red states carried by former President Donald Trump rejected the program.

However, parents can still benefit from other food assistance programs. The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Summer Meals Program offers free meals at its meal sites across the state to children 18 and under. National organizations such as the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club also offer summer meal assistance at select locations.

Written by RA News staff.


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