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      TRLA Seeking More Families for Lawsuit

      The Texas RioGrande Legal Aid is looking for more individual to join its lawsuit against the Texas Department of Housing and Human Services.

      The TRLA filed the lawsuit Thursday against the agency for delays in processing food stamps for seven needy families.

      "We want them to come into compliance as quick as they can," said David Hall, TRLA executive director. "The people that are affected are the children and they get meals at school and that may be the only meal they get during the day if they don't have resources like food stamps."

      Hall said since that since they filed the lawsuit on Thursday, they have received complaints from 70 to 80 families in similar situations.

      However, Hall said he believes there could be more than 50,000 applicants throughout the state.

      Meanwhile, TRLA said the HHS has done a better job in the Valley than in most areas.

      Nearly 75 percent of applications are processed on time, compared to the state average of 50 percent. "But that still means that there's probably tens of thousands of people here in the valley, where they TMre not getting their stamps," Hall added.

      The delays in applications range in length. Hall told Action 4 News they have been hearing from families that have been waiting six to nine months.

      But by law, they said, human services are required to process stamp applications in less than 30 days, so they decided to file against the agency.

      "Were inviting anybody that want to get more priority consideration for food stamps to join this lawsuit," Hall said.

      Anyone interested in finding out more about the lawsuit, or to sign up call the TRLA at (866) 757-1570.

      The Texas RioGrande Legal Aid has three offices in the Valley, in Edinburg, Weslaco and Harlingen.