The Battle Over Food Benefits
KUNM Call In Show 5/19 8a:
A group of workers in the Human Services Department testified earlier this month that their bosses changed applications for food stamps in order to prevent people from gaining access to emergency assistance. HSD officials invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times last week when called to testify in court about the allegations.
Food benefits have been a hot topic of conversation in New Mexico, and across the country, over the past year. The Martinez administration sought to implement new work requirements for some adults this year, but a judge ruled in March that those changes won't go into effect until December. The New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty wants the federal courts to bring in someone from outside the department to takeover processing of applications for someHSD programs, including food benefits.
Many families in New Mexico rely on food assistance to put food on the table each month. In this week's show, we will look at how the food stamp program has changed over time, how people are using food benefits in New Mexico and what changes might ensure that the program is run efficiently.
- Have you ever used food stamps? If yes, how long did you use those benefits?
- If you have applied or helped a family member apply for food stamps, what was your experience navigating the process?
- Would you like to see changes put in place in the food stamp program in New Mexico? What would those changes be - and why?
- Sovereign Hager, Supervising Attorney for NM Center on Law and Poverty
- Joey Peters, reporter for NM Political Report
- Miles Conway, Communication Coordinator for Council 18 AFSCME
- Carlos Navarro, State Coordinator for Bread for the World
- Gordon Yawakia, Prevention Coordinator at the Albuquerque Indian Center
- Brooke Tafoya, Director of Operations for A New Day Youth and Family Services
- Reed Russell, social services manager at Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless