ATLANTA -

State officials say Georgia missed the deadline to clear thousands of backlogged food stamp cases.
    
The failure means the state is closer to losing as much as $76 million in federal funding.

The state's human services commissioner, Keith Horton, held a news conference Friday in Atlanta to announce the agency hadn't met the deadline.
    
Federal officials told the state to process 30,000 high-priority cases by April 1, but the state missed that mark by 337.
    
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the state hopes to get a break despite the failure. It could lose as much as $76 million in federal funding if the backlog of cases isn't resolved by May 1.
    
The state's backlog of food stamp cases has been reduced from about 65,000 in late February.