POSTED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 6:53pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 6:59pm
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, the number of people needing assistance surpasses the private sector workers.
The data shows, nearly a third of our country receives food-aid.
KETK discussed this new report with experts at the North East Texas Public Health District.
Stephanie Taylor and George Roberts of Net Health tell KETK, the number of Texans depending on food-assistance is doing well compared to the rest of the country.
Food stamps known as SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is currently feeding 47 million Americans.
"I was actually surprised to see that, but as interesting as it is in the state of Texas, that you have roughly 12% of our population in Smith County is on SNAP benefits," says George Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of NET Health.
The benefits received depends on a family's or individuals need or income level. George Roberts pulled up numbers to show us, in the month of June there were 25,579 people who were on the SNAP in Smith County.
Roberts adds, close to three million dollars was spent in SNAP benefits. KETK asked officials at Net Health who's paying for it? "75 percent through federal dollars USDA, and then 25% though the state," says Stephanie Taylor, Communications, of Net Health.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission breaks it down by each county in East Texas.
Taylor tells KETK, if you're a family of four and make less than 2,500 a month then you can qualify and can get a monthly payment of close to 700 dollars.
"It's based on your income, it's typically a 130% of the federal poverty level so to give you an example a family of four can make up to 2,600 a month," says Taylor.
When people receive benefits, the amount is applied to a Lone Star card and it's used like a debit card. Roberts says, considering the Texas population the numbers in Texas are low.
Roughly 40-percent of the people who are actually eligible for snap benefits actually receive them in the state of Texas.