Congress' decision to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through 2013 may help keep the county's food assistance case loads from expanding further.
Still, the county's food assistance (food stamp) caseload has doubled since 2007 when there were 920 cases being handled by case managers.
There are 1,823 cases as of Dec. 1 and "the numbers are climbing," county Health and Human Services Director Chuck Lemoine told the Board of County Commissioners last month.
The 1,823 food assistance cases being handled by county staff represent a significant increase from the previous month's total of 1,749.
Looking forward to 2013, Lemoine added during his report to the BoCC that "The LEAP (Low-income Energy Assistance) and food assistance programs will continue to get new applications. All entitlement program access is up."
The federal EUC program had been scheduled to expire on Dec. 29 but has been extended for another full year as part of the "fiscal cliff" legislation recently passed by Congress.
The county HHS department's Family Medicaid assistance cases add to department workloads and "continue to hover in the low 1,100 range and have not changed significantly over the past few months," states the HHS monthly report.
Despite the growing need for food assistance in the county and a hiring freeze imposed by the commissioners, the department's clients are being adequately served. The county's HHS department recently scored high on a performance audit by the state. "We exceeded the target of 95 percent in eight of nine categories the state is tracking, and Delta was one of just ten counties in the state to perform at 95 percent or better in all three categories of food assistance," reads the department's monthly report.blog comments powered by Disqus