Food stamp need rising in Moffat County

Social Services expects to allocate $2.47 million by year’s end


Story at a glance:

• Moffat County Department of Social Services has allocated $1.23 million in food stamp funding so far this year.

• The department is projecting to allocate $2.47 million to Moffat County residents for food stamps by the end of the year.

• In June, social services handled 658 food stamp cases, 141 more cases from June 2009.

• In July, 120 new food stamp applications were filed, which is down from 134 applications in June, and a recent high of 156 applications in April.

• To learn whether you are eligible for food stamps, visit

Marie Peer, Moffat County Department of Social Services director, has seen the number of food stamp cases her department handles consistently increase since 2008.

Seeing more residents need help putting food on the table can be tough sometimes, she said.

But, “you don’t have time for heartbreaking,” she said.

“What you are really trying to do is help the person sitting in front of you,” she said. “In terms of, ‘This is going to be a temporary thing.’

“People are going to get through this. People are going to be doing better, and there are going to be jobs coming up.”

Peer contends the food stamp program is a “flagship program” that provides a good indication of overall economic health.

“If food stamps start going down, that is one of the indicators that the economy is doing better,” she said.

Peer said the economy is “alarming” and the economic struggles many are having can be seen in the rise of food stamp cases, funding and applications to social services.

In June, social services reported it handled 658 food stamp cases, which is 141 more cases from June 2009. The number of food stamp cases has increased each month from 413 cases in January last year.

The program has allocated $1.23 million to residents so far in 2010, and Peer said the department is projecting to allocate $2.47 million by the end of the year.

In 2009, the department allocated $1.81 million in food stamps and $862,706 in 2008, Peer said.

Food stamp eligibility is based on several factors, including income, household size, and living expenses such as rent and utilities, Peer said.

Food stamp funding for counties is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Perhaps the most interesting recent development, Peer said, is the number of applications being received and how many people are not eligible for the program.

“We are finding more people not eligible more than we ever have had in the past, which means people are applying and looking at all the different possibilities, which is a good thing,” Peer said.

In July, 120 new food stamp applications were filed, which is down from 134 applications in June, Peer said.

Peer hopes the decrease means the economy is doing better.

But, she said she is pleased that people are applying for the program, even though they might not be eligible.

“It is hard, I think, for people to apply for benefits,” she said. “Some people see it as, ‘I am accepting defeat,’ but it really is sort of a bridge.

“There are times that we all need help in one way or the other, and to look at it in terms of, ‘This is a temporary thing.’”

But, residents’ attitudes about applying for foods stamps may be changing, Peer said.

“I think people are getting more comfortable with the fact that there are some things you have to do to get by,” she said.

Peer noted, however, that while the number of people seeking and receiving assistance from the food stamp program has been increasing, residents’ negativity has not taken the same path, she said.

“For the most part, people have a positive attitude,” she said. “They’re looking for jobs. Saying, ‘What am I going to do? How am I going to get out of this and how can I make more progress?’”


taxslave 6 years, 7 months ago

What do you mean "this is temporary" and "jobs are coming".....are you out of your mind.

We will be down another 3-5 million jobs by years end.

Don't you people read anything?

Get ready for the pike for sure. Pay attention to G20 mtn. in Jackson Hole.....they are fighting.

Cost of food is going to sky rocket!!!!

The county should rent a storage shed and stash as much food as possible. Another idea, plant an enclosed, community garden.....a Big One. oh yeah, they're banning those too.


David Moore 6 years, 7 months ago

You seriously need to get out of the house and away from the computer.


justthefacts 6 years, 7 months ago

Fact: TMH needs a padded pink room!!!

Question: Do you have one up there David Moore?

Just The Facts, for those of us that could use such facilities.

Ah Ha, moment: TMH just found it's niche!!!!! ($43 million no problem. Debt paid.)


nightwatch 6 years, 7 months ago

i would not trust any of them so called women at social services. they are all in a circle jerk word has it that they are being investigated ???????? biggest bunch of lies i have ever seen


Scott Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Brian - Something is going on in Moffat County that cannot be explained by the economy. I think this may present an opportunity to dig into the numbers a wee-bit deeper in an effort to identify root cause.

Here is why what is happening in food stamp payouts goes beyond what is taking place in Moffat County's economy. Calculated on a per capita basis (total Food Stamp Benefit paid to Moffat County residence divided by the population in the county) the Food Stamp benefit payouts in Moffat County reached their highest level in the ten year period ending 2008 during the same time the economy as a whole was doing very well.

Year Annual Per Capita Food Stamp Payouts 1999 $ 42.50 2000 $ 36.00 2001 $ 37.66 2002 $ 43.45 2003 $ 56.40 2004 $ 70.34 2005 $ 85.05 2006 $ 83.10 2007 $ 81.37 2008 $ 62.51

What is a puzzle to me is that during 2005-2007 per capita income in Moffat County increased. The number of individuals filing for Earned Income Tax Credit (a good indication of low income workers) in Moffat County as a total of the number of federal tax returns did not get higher.

Year Pct. Of Returns Claiming EIC 2000 13% 2001 13% 2002 14% 2003 15% 2004 14% 2005 14% 2006 13% 2007 12%

I would be curious about Marie Peer's perspective of why the jump in food stamp benefits payouts during a time when the economy in Moffat County was doing very well. Something is going on.


Scott Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Tax Slave -

There is a whole lot of fear spinning around; however, I think the fear of Hyperinflation should not be at the top of anyone's fear list. It is likely the economic Boogie Man hiding in the closet is deflation. Deflation is a very tough critter to address.

Deflation is most often caused by a rapid decrease in spending from government, consumer, and/or investors. Deflation has the side effect of increased unemployment since there is a lower level of demand in the economy, which can lead to an economic depression. (Sound familiar?) You do not get these symptoms with inflation

Declining prices, if they persist, generally create a vicious spiral of negatives such as falling profits, closing factories, shrinking employment and incomes, and increasing defaults on loans by companies and individuals. (Sound familiar?) You do not get these symptoms with inflation

Deflationary periods can often be very long lasting. Japan, for example, had a period of deflation lasting decades starting in the early 1990's. The Japanese government lowered interest rates to try to stimulate the economy, to no avail. (Sound familiar?) You do not get these symptoms with inflation.

I would agree with you concern about hyperinflation if the M2 money supply was increasing rapidly. It is not - it actually declined a wee-bit in June 2010. All of the government borrowing /spending is not offsetting the loss of consumer and business spending. Ouch!


native_craig_guy 6 years, 7 months ago

For some reason my comment was removed. Lets try it again.


There is nothing offensive, no coarse language, nor did i personally insult anyone in this post so I am curious why it got removed.


nightwatch 6 years, 7 months ago

probably for the same reason a blank birth certificate with attn to someones name was found near the back entrance ???????? somebody dropped something they should of held on to until they got to one of the offices inside,,,,,,,now whats going on ????


taxslave 6 years, 7 months ago

To Scott,

I'm full aware of deflation. What is going to deflat are those things you do not need. What will inflate will be those things you do and fuel.

A disaster is headed our way. Americans will not be able to handle it. The dollar will be destroyed.

Guess we'll know in just a few months. Please prepare. It's going to be a long, cold, hungry winter.

This is being done by design, on purpose. The powers that be could care less about any of us

Note the red advertisement to right "charge colorado" thingy......remind you of anything? norway spiral perhaps?

Things are not as they appear.


Scott Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Hi TaxSlave - Personally, I try to avoid attributing things to conspiracy and duplicity, which are more likely due to stupidity. Discussions about conspiracies are nothing more than black-holes that suck the energy out of any conversation.

Predictions of gloom and doom are nothing new. In one form or another, they have likely been with the human race since the beginning of history. There is a fine line between raising awareness about areas of concern and wallowing in a gloom and doom outlook.

The economic/social challenges our nation is facing are huge. Similar to our personal lives the bigger the challenge the more likely we are to focus on the trivial rather work on the key challenges themselves.

Challenges are best addressed with an optimistic vs. pessimistic viewpoint. Optimism is an American value. We have to believe that improvements can be made or why bother.

I am more than happy to engage in a civil exchange of ideas with those that disagree with my perspective. This is an American value. In a small way this forum allows for such exchanges. In any exchange, I give others and myself permission to learn. This is an American value.

However, fear is not an American value. It never has been.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

Native Craig Guy posted the following relevant and INoffensive comment on this thread: "For some reason my comment was removed. Lets try it again. i wonder how many illegal immigrants are receiving benefits such as food stamps from our social services department? There is nothing offensive, no coarse language, nor did i personally insult anyone in this post so I am curious why it got removed."

Native Craig Guy, I know why your comment was removed, I know who did it, and I know her history of refusing to print any comments alluding to the federal crimes of those who are illegally inside our borders AND stealing from our social services programs.

Ms. Balleck considers the term "illegal alien" to be "racist". I have questioned her about WHAT color "illegal" is. She will not answer, because "illegal" has no color, therefore is not "racist", and her suspensions and bannings of posters for telling the truth without profanity are indefensible.

Ms. Balleck appears to have no understanding of the content of the 1st Amendment of our U.S. Constitution and instead is engaged in an inappropriate power struggle to print only comments that SHE determines she wants to be widely disseminated. That is inappropriate for the press.

Every single illegal who sneaks into our country, or who overstays a lawful visa, has committed a federal misdemeanor. Once an illegal is deported and then sneaks back into the U.S.,he/she is committing a federal felony. That is why illegals are called criminals, because they are criminals..... 100% of them. Residents of Moffat County and Colorado have the right to know how many food stamp dollars are paid to illegal aliens through social security numbers given to illegal parents for anchor babies.

It is our right as United States Citizens to have that information. It is not Michelle Balleck's place to determine that we should not receive public information!!

The CDP, specifically Michelle Balleck, has a history of concealing such information, and of "punishing" posters who have the temerity to raise the issues. For example, I would bet my last dollar on the fact that there was NOTHING printed in the CDP regarding the disclosure this month that illegal aliens in Colorado are receiving Colorado unemployment benefits, which is done in violation of Colorado State Law. Go to, and click onto Peter Boyles's page to read it.

Michelle Balleck considers comments like yours, Native, and like mine, to be offensive (although we are not using profanity, are not making racist remarks, and are NOT in violation of CDP posting rules!!) merely because they are not in line with Ms. Balleck's open-border views.

I believe that the good people of Craig should rise up against Ms. Balleck's tyranny. This is the People's local newspaper, and the whole political truth should be told!! Michelle Balleck has no right to stand in the way of the 1st Amendment.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

By the way, my above comment will be deleted by Michelle Balleck Monday morning, and I will be banned from posting for having the temerity to address her journalistic lack of professionalism in squelching all comments that are not in line with her own views of wide-open borders for all, and U.S. citizenship for every illegal inside our country plus the additional 200 Million illegals who soon will be inside our country, taking jobs and taking welfare benefits, as soon as the borders are officially open.

There is no question that Michelle Balleck will shut me down Monday morning, so please, someone in Moffat County, keep up the good fight.

If you love paying out welfare benefits to the 40Million illegals currently in our country, then elect Hickenlooper as governor. John Hickenlooper has destroyed Denver, as it is now a Sanctuary City for illegal aliens...... no drivers licenses, no auto insurance, no fines or jail time, no problem, and child rapes and armed assault also will get you a "free pass" if you are an illegal in Denver. Hickenlooper's goal is to turn Colorado into a Sanctuary State. If that is what you want for Colorado, then elect Hickenlooper, because he will be happy to destroy our beloved State.

Send John Hickenlooper an email in the Denver Mayor's office about the number of illegals who receive food stamps in Colorado, itemized by county. He will claim to have no idea what you're talking about! That's just great.


Scott Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Hi Richard - This may help clear up a few statistics that are tossed about in any discussion of this type.

The total population of the United States is about 310 million. Most likely of that population about 3.8% or about 12 million are in United States Illegally. Of this group, Country of Origin is as follows: Mexico = 57% Central and South America = 24% Asia = 9% Europe + Canada = 6% Middle East and Africa = 4%

The source for this information is the Department of Home Land Security, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the US Census Bureau. Each of these agencies/groups working independently and using different data sets all conclude that the number is in the 10 to 12 million ranges. So I think this is a safe number for at least discussion purposes. I would be curious as to the source of the number of 40 million referenced in your posting.

BTW - All of us that participate in the Craig Daily Press' blog need to remember that the paper does not owe us a single thing. It is within this context that I think your comments directed to Michelle are a bit over the top. It serves us all well in discussions one-to-one as well as in the framework of blog postings such as this to focus on the issue and not personalities.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

SCOTT, your figures are inaccurate.... at least the one figure in which you are guessing how many illegals are in the U.S. at this time. 10,000 per night are running north across the Mexican border into the U.S...... yes, per night!! Most estimates put the illegals currently here at 40Million.

PEW Hispanic Research Center released figures this month, including the figure that 1 in 12 babies born in the United States at this time is born to an illegal alien. Another current figure: 1 in 14 children in the United States has at least one illegal alien parent.

Don't worry much about defending Michelle Balleck. She will come out with some immature, smart alecky statement tomorrow, such as, "My paper, my rules"...... the CDP Posting Policy be damned, I guess.

Whether you think I am "over the top" or not, if Ms. Balleck is going to delete comments, or ban posters, based on the CDP Posting Policy, then she in fact should be applying the CDP Posting Policy, don't you think? For her to call the term "illegal alien" a "racist" term, and ban a poster on that basis, is imply ignorant. Illegal has no color. Illegal has no race, so the term is not racist.


wellwell 6 years, 7 months ago

Richard B., Please refer to the letter above by Scott Ford with well researched figures which he is able to get as part of his job. Note that he also said that Ms. Balleck has no need to provide information of the number of illegal immigrants. Her job is to moderate this blog within the regulations of the Craig Daily Press.

Reading those rules just now I have found that your post should and likely be removed by Ms. Balleck. You have named and defamed and possibly harassed Ms. Balleck. If you had not made this attack upon her your statement probably would have remained.

Also note that Scott Ford asked for the source of your information. If you can remain on this blog I would like to know the source also. I do agree with your points and would like you back them up. Just don't go down in your own fire of your remarks.

My understanding is that often Ms. Balleck replies to the blogger why the blog was removed. Just clean it up a bit on the attacks, back it up with facts and figures, I'd like to hear what you have to say. Keep up the research. By the way I tried to find your referance on KHOW Boyle and it must have been dropped already.


Scott Ford 6 years, 7 months ago

Good Morning Richard - YEA!

It looks like we have a debate developing. I am going to be slammed this morning with projects but I will respond before the close of the day. I appreciate that you post using your name. I understand why some folks want to post anonymously but I am comfortable using my name - I do my best to own my ideas. I also give myself permission to change my positions as I learn more.

I invite others to join in with the caveats - we stay committed to civility and the open exchange of ideas.

Chat with you soon. Scott


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

Reply to wellwell, who posted the following in pertinent part: "Note that he also said that Ms. Balleck has no need to provide information of the number of illegal immigrants[ ]".

Wellwell, there are three corrections to your post. First, no one suggested that Ms. Balleck should provide any information regarding the number of illegal aliens in our country (They are not immigrants, by the way, as immigrants are lawful entrants. You are doing a grave disservice disrespect to all who enter our country legally by using the same moniker for both groups.)

Second, nearly everyone in the United States who follows political matters at any level is aware that the federal government uses the number "10-12Million" for illegal aliens currently inside our borders. Think about it: Obama is motivated to underestimate the damage and the threat and the expense of illegals. Also consider this. With 10,000 per night crossing illegally into our country, how do you calculate that the number remains at only 10-12Million? It does not. That number has been outdated for many years. Read some updated information.

Third, stand up for yourself, Man! This is a newspaper, and the public has the right NOT to be "shut down" as a result of its objection to unfair, imprecise, capricious practices applied to delete comments. That is Constitutional Law 101..... 1st Amendment Freedom of Press stuff. There is nothing inappropriate about calling the moderator aka Michelle Balleck on that practice. The fact that you believe I will be closed down for that reason only underscores the accuracy of my claim, doesn't it??? I reiterate: "illegal" is the status of violating one or more of our laws. It is in no manner related to any race or color. (What color is "illegal", anyway??)

Some help here, Sherm? You are a cool head of intelligent, educated reason, so please feel free to tell folks where they are headed down the wrong legal path on this.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

Follow-up reply to wellwell: No, item regarding Colo. Labor Dept. Fraud has not been dropped. Illegal aliens receiving unemployment benefits in Colo., in violation of state statute, is huge news and will not just go away. Several officials' heads at the state level have already rolled, and in fact the top man just resigned, so the headline will not be "dropped".

Try this: go to, and click onto "shows" in the upper left. Click onto Peter Boyles at the top of the drop-down menu. The Labor Dept. Fraud story is the 11th headline down, and it appears right above the photo of Obama's mother, Stanley Ann. You also could simply google it, as it is statewide knowledge in most places in Colorado.


native_craig_guy 6 years, 7 months ago

I am glad that my comment has stirred some debate. I have lived on the border and I have seen first hand the crime and devastation that plagues those areas of our country. It is about time that we stand up against the self proclaimed liberal elite and unite for what is truly good for our country. We should not allow our country to be invaded by a foreign population (not just hispanics). Those that know me are keenly aware that I am not a racists nor do I judge people based on the color of their skin. This is a crime issue. illegal, undocumented, unwanted.


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

There seems to be a new, insidious form of slavery in America today…Illegal Immigration.

Undocumented workers are being exploited by the people that hire them… low wages, no benefits, then when they are no longer needed, they are simply sent down the road. The employer knows they will not complain about bad treatment because they fear they will be deported if they complain. Complain about this situation, you might be branded as a racist.


native_craig_guy 6 years, 7 months ago

Grey Stone, I am afraid that I, unjustly, have a Scarlet R on my chest.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

I could not disagree with you more, Grey Stone. Illegals are not being exploited by anyone, because they just plain should not be here inside our country. It is illogical for you to claim that after they violate our federal law to be here illegally, we somehow should be sorry about their alleged mistreatment. If they had not committed one or more federal crimes to sneak in at night, they would not be in a position to be allegedly exploited, as you claim.

For illegals to sneak in and then to complain about their treatment here is similar to a child's murdering his parents and then complaining that he is an orphan, is it not?

It appears that illegals would have had little to no motive to be inside our borders at all BUT FOR the convoluted and ill-considered footnote by Justice Brennan in a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision. This provides clear substantiation that illegals were never envisioned, until a goofy footnote in 1982, as the parents of millions of brand new American citizens.

The illegals do not belong here, and neither do the kids they claim are U.S. citizens. We have no reason to support ANY of these people!

Here is a link from a column by attorney Ann Coulter for an explanation regarding the manner in which anchor babies dishonestly started to get a foothold here in 1982. A "footnote" in a Supreme Court opinion has never been construed to be part of the decision in a case..... with stare decisis effect, etc. It seems, therefore, that it should not be so hard to "un-do" the misdeed of Justice Brennan with a contrary Supreme Court holding to overturn in part the 1982 decision (we need to hurry, though, before the illegitimate president, Obama, packs the U.S. Supreme Court with his own liberal-spewing, dishonest, open-border-loving, America-hating kind). PAGE.view&pageId=187785


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

I apologize for the above link in its weird 2-line form. I am not being allowed to post the entire link on one line, so it does not work as a "link". If you hi-light both lines and then paste the whole thing into your browser, you will be taken directly to the Ann Coulter article. I just tried it, it works.


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

If there were no jobs, there might not be a motive to break the law.


RichardBarbosa 6 years, 7 months ago

Grey Stone, please look around, and tell me whether you see jobs. You are going to respond that the $2 per hour jobs that illegals do are jobs that Americans won't take. I've heard that before, and it's nonsense.

First, illegals undercut honest American workers to steal their jobs in restaurants, hotels, and construction. Second, we do have Americans who are young and/or unskilled and/or mentally or physically challenged who desperately need those jobs.... yes, including the jobs in agriculture. Third, you cannot possibly believe for a moment that a single illegal is actually supporting his family of 8-10 kids AND sending some part of the $2Billion home to Mexico each year on just $2 per hour.

No, illegals undercut American workers, and then they steal from our American welfare system. That, my Friend, is what they are living on and using to support the wife and 8-10 kids, who mostly are anchor babies.

My friend has a mother who is a nurse at Denver Health and Hospitals, and before the new baby is even cleaned off, Mom is demanding (in Spanish, of course, and we are paying for those interpreters, too, in the hospitals and in the justice system) the new social security number.

The baby's new social security card is the ticket for the whole family to ride the Section 8 gravy train, WIC...... and yes, of course, food stamps, which is the topic of this thread.

It is ironic that, because there are no jobs, many of them are simply living off our American welfare programs. The ones who do take jobs, in order to send that money to Mexico via wire transfer from Walmart, are taking your jobs, jobs that American indeed do want and desperately need! Please wake up and smell the coffee, Grey Stone.


Frank Estey 6 years, 7 months ago

RichardBarbosa, I think we are actually on the same page.

How about making it illegal to give jobs to undocumented workers…Which is actually the case now, then actually arrest the offenders, and demand the state not give undocumented individuals food stamps or welfare.

Looks like our Federal and State officials are the real offenders.


daybyday 6 years, 7 months ago

The laws for hiring are clear, and all employers have free and easy access to the law through the US Dept. of Labor. The direct link to the Immigration and Naturalization Service Employee Handbook is at: If that link doesn't work, google Immigation and Naturalization Service Employee Handbook.

We have spent billions on ineffective border control with billions more planned to spend that we don't have. Americans could stop blaming the government for not doing enough or stop blaming the government for doing too much, and start holding ourselves personally accountable and simply adhering to the laws that we have in place for the very purpose of protecting our borders, which in turn protects jobs, reduces crime, reduces government spending, and grows our economy. Americans who hire illegals for short-term financial gain are doing so at the long-term expense of our country, which in case anyone hasn't noticed is in serious crisis.

There is some distorted sense of compassion that we need to feed, clothe, hire and house people who are knowingly and purposefully breaking the laws that were enacted to create, protect and maintain our country's livelihood, and that is just mind boggling. There is a lawful method to becoming an U.S. citizen, and it's not rocket science that it's considered lawful because it's legal...good grief.


Frank Estey 6 years, 6 months ago

Hilda Lucia Solis is the 25th United States Secretary of Labor is promoting fair wages for Undocumented workers..

Statement of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis

Obama Labor Chief, Hilda L. Solis : states all workers Have a Right to Fair Wages.!v=6neboemmaRU&feature=related

Dept. of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis turns a 'blind eye' to illegal immigrants in the work place in violation of federal immigration laws. Pursuiant to the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act Section 8 USC 1324 it is 'illegal' to both knowingly assist illegal aliens due to personal convictions and * assist an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization.


Frank Estey 6 years, 6 months ago

The youtube link is not right, so you need to type "hilda solis we can help" in the youtube search box. Hilda says she will help Undocumented workers get a fair wage and other benefits, no mater if you are undocumented or whatever.


Frank Estey 6 years, 6 months ago

Found the same Video on the USDepartment of labor web site.

Wonder why the US Labor department is trying to help lower the wages of American workers?


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