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Minyard’s held an assistance drive over the weekend at 14 of its stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market designed to “to reach out to more than 250,000 working families to assist all eligible children apply for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Children’s Medicaid.”

“Assisting families secure needed health insurance for their children is an important initiative of the Carnival Minyard Foundation,” said Michael D. Byars, president/CEO of Minyard Food Stores. “Our stores and associate volunteers are happy to provide a convenient neighborhood location and time to assist families in applying for this affordable health coverage program. We pride ourselves on helping the communities we serve, and there is no better way than connecting them to vital programs that impact their lives such as CHIP.”

According to a statement released by the company, “More than 1 million (31.3 percent) Texas children from families at or below 200 percent of the poverty threshold went uninsured for all of 2006, according to Census Bureau data released in August. These numbers are up from 886,000 (27.7 percent) in 2005. Nationally, 19 percent of children from families making at or below 200 percent of the poverty line went uninsured — with Texas having both the highest number and percentage of children uninsured.

“More than one in five children in Texas do not have health insurance, the highest rate in the nation. Half of these uninsured children are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid, but are not enrolled. Children without insurance do not get needed medical, dental or vision care. They also miss more school days due to illness than insured children and are more likely to visit an emergency room when needing health care.”
KC's View:
My first reaction was that these are the sorts of activities that retailers ought to be involved in…and then I realized that there is an irony to this announcement.

After all, it was just a couple of weeks ago that President Bush – who himself hails from Texas – vetoed a bill that would have renewed this program and increased its funding, and there is a move taking place in Congress to override that veto.