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Missouri: #1 in Kicking Needy Families Off Food Stamps Due to Reorganization

On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch posted an article entitled, “FOUL: Missouri reaches No. 1 in kicking people off food stamps.” The reason why people are off food stamps is because our state offices can’t handle the applications due to office closings. The article says,

County food stamp offices have been consolidated. A third of the street-level casework staff — 740 people — have been laid off. The result: Many of those who are eligible for food stamps can’t get them. Caseworkers have little face-to-face contact with applicants, working instead in regional cube farms on a computer system that doesn’t work very well. The problems affect Medicaid applicants, too.

The St. Louis JwJ Workers’ Rights Board held a hearing on this exact topic back in February of this year.Check out the report here -> WRB FSD reorganization report March 2014. Missouri Jobs with Justice heard from clients, care givers, employees, and administrators who were affected by the new “reorganization” of the Missouri Family Support Division within the Department of Social Services.

Despite the realities illustrated by advocates, clients and employees within the system, the reorganization of the Family Support Division and the Department of Social Services involves the elimination of 700 positions. Under the reorganization, Missourians following the necessary steps to receive assistance are falling through the cracks. Employees are drowning under the pressure and paperwork, and advocates are outraged.