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Rio Grande Valley: People with $7K food-stamp surplus

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An investigative report has shown that some people in the Rio Grande Valley are receiving exorbitant amounts of food stamp money, racking up thousands of dollars in unused funds.

"Should there be a limit on how much taxpayers dollars can be given to someone on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?" Action 4 News asks.

One gas station clerk, who refused to reveal his name, said he once saw a balance of $7,000 on a recipient's Lone Star card.

"You would think that it would red flag in the system," he said.

He told the TV station that the local SNAP office told him they couldn't doing anything about it.

"I had never heard of this issue until you brought it to light," State Representative Terry Canales told Action 4 News.

The freshman lawmaker said a $7,000 surplus is "extremely concerning. Reaching these balances is obviously not in the best interest of the state and the people that have these balances, it's questionable as to whether they need the assistance."

The gas station clerk says that on an average day he sees about 10 different people with more than $2,000 in food stamps, who report to the government they don't make enough to live.

There are more than 238,000 people on SNAP in Hidalgo County alone, costing taxpayers more than $28 million a month, Action 4 News reports.

"The entire situation needs and warrants an investigation. It warrants the state making modifications as to how the program is run," Mr. Canales said.

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