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Alameda County sued over food stamp delays

OAKLAND — Still seeking disability benefits after he was injured on the job, Oakland resident Jarvis Johnson is eager to start receiving food stamps.

But Alameda County has already missed its federally imposed deadline for determining Johnson’s eligibility for the program known as CalFresh — an all-too-common outcome, according to Jarvis’ legal team.

On Monday, Jarvis, a former truck driver, and two other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against Alameda County in federal court. They are asking a judge to order the county to do what is necessary so that it no longer is chronically late in processing food stamp applications.

“All we want is for a judge to hold the county of Alameda accountable,” said Thomas Loran of the San Francisco law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Also representing the plaintiffs are the Public Interest Law Project and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

Federal law requires that food stamp applications be processed within 30 days. Requests for expedited benefits must be processed within three days. Jarvis, 53, made his expedited request on Sept. 21 and is still waiting. For now, his food is provided by his brother and sister-in-law.

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