Problems With the Emergency Food Stamp Program

Published: Mar 31, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1978.

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One of the harshest winters in recent history and other disaster situations resulted in the distribution of nearly $43 million of emergency food stamp benefits in fiscal year 1977. Program abuses were attributable largely to serious problems in program administration pointing out the need for better program guidance by the Food and Nutrition Service and better planning and control by State and local agencies administering emergency procedures. Other problems involved: confusion among State agencies as to how to administer the program, lack of legislative or administrative guidance or criteria defining a low income family, and lack of definition of reduced income. Legislative changes which could minimize or eliminate these abuses involve: provisions to allow the income and resources of applicants to be considered, simplified certification procedures in disaster emergencies, and development of State plans for providing food stamps to disaster victims.

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