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      Texas missed more than $3 billion in Federal Food Aid

      Texas missed more than $3 billion in Federal Food Aid in 2011 according to recent reports.

      According to the Texas Food Bank Network, two-thirds of Texans who may be eligible for SNAP, also known as food stamps, benefits received them in 2011. This cost the state more than $3 billion in unused federal aid.

      In Potter and Randall County, there are about 13,800 people who qualify to receive benefit and could receive benefits had they apply but didnâ??t said Executive Director of the High Plains Food Bank, Zack Wilson.

      The High Plains Food Bank provides assistance to help people get benefits like SNAP.

      â??Thatâ??s what weâ??re here for,â?? said Wilson. â??To make sure your privacy is respected and more importantly that you can get the benefits youâ??re entitled to.â??

      Despite all of the missed funding, Texas Congress will be debating one of the largest program cuts in a generation that could have the potential of cutting funding for assistance programs like SNAP.

      â??The people and the case load in the Texas Panhandle will be affected,â?? said Wilson. â??I donâ??t think itâ??s a good thing at all, especially coming out of such a deep recession and what weâ??re still in to be cutting assistance programs when people out here need them the most and need to be informed if they need help thatâ??s what they can do.â??

      Texas Congress members Pete Gallego (D-Alpine), Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), Randy Neugebauer (R-Lubbock) and Mike Conaway (R-Odessa) will help decide what will happen with the proposed cuts Wednesday when the House Agriculture Committee votes on a new farm bill governing program funding and rules.

      For more information on the High Plains Food Bank, visit hpfb.org

      For more information on the Texas Food Bank Network, visit tfbn.org

      For more information on Federal Food Aid, visit nutrition.gov/food-assistance-programs