US Department of Agriculture

Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250
Stamped Recieved:

Honorable Tony Coelho
House of Represenatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman Coelho:

Thank you for your letter of September 21, 1987 on behalf of Mr. Chris Walters. Mr. Walters is concerned about the adminstration of the Food Stamp Program and the distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities in California, Nevada, and Oregon.

Mr. Walters wrote directly to us expressing these same concerns, and we responded to him in September, Copies of our response are enclosed.

As we pointed out to Mr. Walters, residents of public or private nonprofit shelters for homeless people can be eligible for food stamps if they meed the other eligibility requirements such as resource and income limits and apply for work. Mr. Walters noted in his letter to you that homeless people are using fictious addresses in order to recieve food stamps. A fixed mailing address is not a requirement for participation in the Food Stamp Program. It is, however, required that a person live in the project area in which he/ she files an application for participaton in the program, and that no individual may participate in more than one project area in any month.

We have checked with our Western Regional office and, at this time, we are not aware of any lawsuit filed by Mr. Walters concerning USDA food assistance programs.

Concerning the USDA donated commodities, the information provided by Mr. Walters was not specific enought to take any action. However, we advised him that we would be pleased to look into the matter upon receiving additional information. We also suggested that Mr. Walters should discuss his concerns at the State level by contacting Ms. Maria Balkshin, Division of Child Nutrition and Food Distribution, Department of Education, P.O. Box 944272 Sacramento, California 94244-2770, telephone (916-445-0850)

If we can be of any further assistance in this matter, please let me know.

Sincerely, JOHN W. BODE
Assistant Secretary for
Food and Consumer Services



February 1, 1998

Mr. Chris Walters
c/o 1417 De Harro
Modesto, CA 95354

Dear Mr. Walters:

I found your most recent letter to be encouraging. I am pleased that we are making headway in establishing national standard for the receipt of food stamps for the homeless. I am also encouraged by your comments that the USDA Inspector General will be giving your Complaints with regard to segregated meals more attention in the future. It looks as if your hard work and persistence is resulting in reform and increased attention to the plight of the homeless. I appreciate your keeping my office abreast of your developments.

If I can be of further assistance to you on these matters in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Tony Coelho Member of Congress

US Congressman Leon Panetta

Chairman of House Agriculture Committee
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Food Stamps For Homeless Act
Written By US Congressman Leon Panetta?
Historical archives suggest that the food stamps for the homeless act was written by US Congressman Leon Panetta when he was Chairman of the Agriculture Committee

United States District Court

Western District of Texas
@ San Antonio
Irma Villarreal et al


Rob Mosbacher
The Honorable Judge H.F. Garcia
Consent Order SA-89-CA-1214
June 14, 1991
Where Do Homeless
Folks Live?
Irma Villa V Rob Mosbacher: United States District Court, Western District of Texas Civil SA-89-CA 1214 at San Antonio,TX. In an action at law brought under Title 42 USC 1983 the The Honorable Garcia ruled that the requirement food stamp applicants produce "collateral statements" was unconstitutional and violated the due process and equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment because it requires the applicant to secure a written statement from a 3rd party over whom they have no means of control. The Court placed the Texas Department of Human Services into the Court's control for 10 years through 1999 to ensure compliance.
Texas Department of Human Services
Legal Counsel
701 W. 51st Street
Austin, Texas 78751
P.O. Box 149030
Austin, Texas 78714
(888) 834-7406
(888) 425-6889 (TDD)

Honorable H.F. Garcia
Courtroom Deputy:
Ms. Judy Dietrich
(210) 472-6550, ext. 300
U.S. District Court Judge
655 East Durango Blvd
San Antonio,TX 78206
(210 472-6575
(210) 472-6550, ext. 300