In 2012, approximately $12.7 million in state and federal money passed through the county's social services department as funding for programs administered locally, according to a county audit report.
The local program receiving the largest amount of that money was the food stamp and related programs which got $6.1 million in 2012.
In addition, $2 million went for foster care of Delta County children. Seven other county-administered programs are funded with the stream of state and/or federal money including old age pensions and aid to the needy disabled.
Those figures were among the results reported to the Board of County Commissioners Monday by accountant Pete Blair in his 2012 county audit presentation.
There has been rapid growth of the food stamp program nationwide and in Delta County. In 2007, Delta County's food stamp payouts were $2.4 million. It is estimated that 80 percent of the $400 billion federal Farm Bill goes to food stamp and related programs. Congress is considering cuts of $40 billion in the program next year.
It was also reported during the BoCC session that 55 percent of Delta County schoolchildren qualify for free or reduced price meals programs.
Blair told the county commissioners that the federal government is phasing out audits of its food stamp program on the county level and opting instead for audits at the state level. Food stamp benefits are issued with debit-type card system called EBT, but there are few restrictions on what the funds in individual recipients' accounts can be used to buy. "There's no restrictions on it," Blair said, "so now the feds are tracking the use" of individual cards and the types of expenditures being made by recipients.blog comments powered by Disqus