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article imageMother kills herself, shoots children when refused food stamps

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By Nancy Houser     Dec 7, 2011 in Food
Laredo - In San Antonio, Texas, a seven-hour stand-off ended with a 38-year-old mother killing herself, critically shooting her two children in the process. Since last July, she had been refused food stamps because of a "lack of sufficient" information.
Rachelle Grimmer's 12-year-old daughter had predicted her own death on Facebook during her final hours in the Laredo Health and Human Services of Texas, filled with about 25 people at the time. The reason was that she had already been shot by her mother when she had Facebooked "may die 2day." Those were her final words. (Reuters)
Both of Grimmer's two children, 10-year-old Timothy and 12-year-old Ramie, were found by the SWAT team beside the body of their dead mother, critically wounded and unconscious after the gun was heard going off. Grimmer had released the state welfare caseworker before shooting the children and herself. The two children were taken to the University Hospital. (CBS)
NOTE: Since beginning this article, 12-year-old Ramie has just died. Her brother, Timothy, is still in critical condition.
The Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the weakest spots in the state of Texas for any of its programs. It is well known that stamp applicants have been forced to endure long waits for their interviews, as much as 40,000 forced to wait over 30 days. Meanwhile, the SNAP program has been working through a huge backlog of its food stamp errors, for overpayment or underpayment.
The state has been fined by the Feds for approximately $4 million during 2010, as they were unable to meet the requirements needed to receive federal funding. Meanwhile, as the families requesting assistance need to wait for long periods of time, they are forced to rely on dwindling food banks to survive. Those who wish to apply for food stamps in Texas are required to fill out an 18-page application, in addition to provide documents showing their proof of employment and residency.
Part of the overload problem Laredo, Texas, with the area's welfare applicants may be due to its close connection to Nuevo Laredo. The two towns are linked by a bridge that reaches across the Rio Grande. Since 2004, over 70 Americans have been kidnapped south of the bridge, with two dozen of them still missing today.
Meanwhile, “The media on Nuevo Laredo side has been muzzled,” said Laredo Sheriff Rick Flores. “They’re not allowed to report anything that’s going on, especially any violence. They went into a newspaper agency which is called El Manana, and they threw a couple of grenades in there and they sprayed bullets, AK-47s hitting people, paralyzing one. And of course that was just a message that they wanted to pass along to let the media know that they meant business, whenever they wanted the media to stay away from publicizing whatever they were doing.” (Glenn Beck)
Dating back to 2009, Laredo,Texas, was home to Mexican drug cartels using teenage death squads. "That river does not stop these people," said Webb County Sheriff's Maj. Doyle Holdridge, who for the past 30 years has been working drug cases along the Rio Grande. The two cities have a combined population of half a million. (LiveLeak)
Also causing the welfare surge in Texas was their population surge from 2009 to 2010, with Money.CNN reporting that "Texas added more than 3.9 million residents during the 2000s. It's population also grew by the greatest number of people (478,000) during the 12 months ended July 1."
According to the Washington Post, "A new report from the Council on Contemporary Families released Monday concluded that poverty in the U.S. grew substantially in the last decade."
The Post added, "Such violence — which left the two children ages 10 and 12 in critical condition — could never be justified. But, it did not take place in a vacuum. 'I saw a mother at Union Station feeding her two children out of a trash can at the bottom of a Metro elevator. It broke my heart,' Young told me in a follow-up conversation about the Texas story." Young is Valerie Young, an advocacy coordinator at the National Association of Mothers’ Centers.
Texas employees who work for the welfare system cannot keep up with applications for food assistance, reports My San Antonio, because of serious inadequate staffing. The high turnover is causing lousy morale, long hours, and frustration----and the deaths of some applicants.
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