Heart Downtown Dallas 24-HOUR COFFEE SHOP $5.50 up No Charge for Children Under 18 Radio-Television Completely Air Conditioned FREE INSIDE PARKING HOTEL a Commerce-Murphy-Main Streets Telephone: Riverside 2-6431 Dallas, Texas COGSWELL FOR THE PEOPLE= BUMPER STICKERS FREE GR . 7 7 0 7 0 Box 7191, Austin, Texas 78712 THE MOST dramatic moment in the hearing came when one witness, Mrs. Frances Delgado, returned from the GARNER AND SMITH STORE 2116 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas, 78705 Mail order requests promptly filled 10 The Texas Observer $44 allotment to the maximum $93 monthly allowed for a mother with two dependent children. Joe Falcon, assistant regional director for the Texas Department of Welfare, explained that it was not the policy of the agency to inform recipients of their right to appeal welfare grants. “Each case worker has a copy of these regulations and it is up to his discretion to determine if the client should be informed of the right of appeal. Texas law does not require us to provide clients with this.” Edward Sparer, law professor at Yale and a panel member asked Falcon, “Aren’t you putting the client at the complete mercy of the case worker?” “I can’t comment on that,” Falcon replied. But he did explain that in the future each welfare client would be given a card with the notice of his right to appeal any welfare decision printed on it. Falcon said he believed the state had the responsibility to take advantage of the federal programs available to solve the food problems in San Antonio and elsewhere in the state. Yet of the two federal food programsfood stamps and surplus commoditiesonly the commodities program is in widespread use in Texas. Food stamp programs are operating only in Fort Worth and El Paso, and seem to be preferred by welfare clients over the commodities, since once the stamps are purchased the individual welfare recipient may buy whatever food he wishes instead of taking merely what the government offers. When Falcon admitted to the panel that he had no information on the food stamp program, Dr. Vivian Henderson, president of a Negro college in Georgia, interjected angrily, “How do we get you people to take action? Is it only to the extent poor people raise hell that we get action? Is this a political decision, or is it simply a matter of not caring about people?” “I don’t care to answer,” Falcon said. John Bierschwale, director of the San Antonio Welfare Department said San Antonio does not have the stamp program because “basically it is a state program.” He told of a yearly San Antonio welfare budget of $280,000, plus surplus commodities, that reach about 24,000 people or less than 20% of those who need it. lunch break with an eviction notice from the publicly-owned San Antonio housing authority. In tears she told the panel that she found the note, a torn half-sheet of note-book paper signed by her “landlady” in the housing unit, demanding $10 owed on her $42.75 monthly rent by 5 p.m. that afternoon. Mrs. Delgado did not have the money because her husband recently lost his job for being involved in union activity. She was turned down when requesting aid and food both by officials at the state welfare agency and surplus commodity center because her husand was “able to work.” She had neither the money for the rent nor food for her nine children, and didn’t know where to turn for help. Dr. Henderson, obviously outraged by the eviction notice and the woman’s predicament, said, “I can’t comment anymore on this. This type of thing makes me too goddamn mad.” The committee panel is hopeful that the nation will become as aroused as Dr. Henderson, when its citizens’ report on hunger and malnutrition resulting from this hearing and others in Appalachia, the northern ghettos, the black belt, and Indian reservations is formalized into a proposed national program to feed starving Americans. The hearings here were held at the request of a newly-formed group known as the Texas Committee on Hunger and Malnutrition. Bernal is the Texas committee’s chairman. He said the hearing was “an effort to bring our concerned citizens together in a face-to-face meeting to find out what our real problems are. There are thousands of Mexican-Americans in need who are not being reached effectively by present programs.” Witnesses were from Bexar county as well as several other parts of South Texas. The national board of inquiry was formed earlier this year after a group of physicians studied malnutrition in Mississippi and discovered that hundreds of thousands of people in the Deep South, both white and black, were not receiving any kind of federal welfare aid and were living under starvation conditions. The group’s report was made public in July during US Senate investigations and provoked headlines across the nation. “The basic problem with our food programs is that we will not come to a national commitment that our people need an adequate diet,” Leslie W. Dunbar, executive director of the Field Foundation of New York, and chairman of the panel, said. “Until such a commitment is made, programs will always fall far short of need.” her husband, who makes $40 a week as a taxi driver for Bell Cab Co., cannot adequately feed their family on his income. They receive the surplus commodities, but Mrs. Cordova would like to feed her children something “other than beans and rice.” While testifying, Mrs. Cordova held her three-year-old twin sons in her lap and one of the panelists, Dr. Gilbert Ortiz of New York, commented that, compared with his own three-year-old twins, the Cordova boys were so much smaller as to indicate they were undernourished. Another witness Mrs. Julia Gonzalez told the panel that her state welfare case worker had told her not to bother applying for the surplus commodities, even though she and her two boys could use the extra food. “The case worker said we would be turned down, so to stay home and save ourselves the embarrassment,” Mrs. Gonzalez said. She receives $44 a month from the Texas Welfare Department in aid to dependent children, plus irregular child support from her ex-husband. One of her children is both epileptic and retarded, so she cannot work outside her home. MRS. GONZALEZ, as well as many other witnesses during the day, revealed that she did not know she could make an appeal to the agency to raise her
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