DES to continue food stamp assistance along AZ-UT border

Posted: Updated:
(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

After this week’s big food stamp fraud indictment of eleven members of a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border, many other people in the area were left wondering if their personal benefits were in jeopardy. Residents of Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT heard rumors that their benefits might be cut entirely.

[RELATED: Things to know about polygamous sect food stamp fraud case]

In response to these concerns, Arizona Department of Economic Securities Director Timothy Jeffries confirmed Friday that the payment of benefits to eligible recipients will not be interrupted. "The Department of Economic Security will not suspend or interrupt in any way the administration of the food stamp program,” said Jeffries.

The arrests this past week are the latest in a series of major hits taken by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, led by Warren Jeffs.  The sect is currently embroiled in a legal battle alleging that leaders in the church discriminated against local residents who were not part of the sect. Jeffries reminded residents that it would be unrealistic for DES to cut benefits to the entire area.

[RELATED: Jury sides with family in polygamist sect lawsuit]

“There are nearly 4,000 Arizonans in the Colorado City area who depend on these benefits for their daily existence,” said Jeffries.  “Clearly, the sweep that occurred in Colorado City this week was a positive step in the battle against food stamp fraud. But eligible recipients should not have to suffer because of events that were beyond their control. They will continue to receive their benefits."

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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