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COPPELL, Texas -- Carnival, Minyard, and Sack'n Save grocery stores, operated by Minyard Food Stores here, reached out over the weekend to an estimated 250,000 working families to help enroll eligible youngsters in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Children's Medicaid.
The retailer worked with Dallas CHIP Coalition in the effort. CHIP is a state-federal insurance program that provides health benefits for millions of children annually.
The application assistance drive kicked off Saturday morning in 13 Dallas/Fort Worth locations. Bilingual volunteers were present to help families learn about CHIP's health care coverage.
"Helping families get health insurance for their children is an important initiative of the Carnival Minyard Foundation," said Michael D. Byars, president and c.e.o. of Minyard Food Stores, Inc., in a statement. "Last year we were able to sign up over 4,000 children through the two CHIP drives we held at our stores. We pride ourselves on helping the communities we serve, and there is no better way than connecting them to vital programs like CHIP that can improve their lives."
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 the U.S. Census Bureau. 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 more than one in five children lacking coverage, Texas has both the highest number and percentage of uninsured children. Half of these are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid, but are not enrolled.