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Federal funding for Nevada's food stamp program threatened

Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services

Some federal dollars could be at stake for running the food stamp program in Nevada.

Federal officials are warning the state that it may lose some administrative funds needed to run the food stamp program unless the state improves its late reporting of applications for assistance.

The regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service in San Francisco said in a letter this week (Wednesday) that Nevada has one of the worst reporting rates in the country.

The letter sent to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services in Carson City says over the past four years, the state's consistently late reporting has created hardships for thousands of low-income households across the state.

USDA administrator Jesus Mendoza says the state has 30 days to come up with a corrective action plan.

In the last five years, the number of Nevadans using food stamps has more than doubled from about 175,000 recipients to nearly 400,000 because of the recession. State officials say they have developed a corrective action plan that is currently in draft form now and will be formally introduced early next month.

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.