Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States
Currently food stamp recipients who would like to shop at local farmer’s markets have had problems because many of them do not accept the EBT Cards they use to buy groceries. A bill currently in the legislature would change that by helping farmers markets overcome bureaucratic hurdles | AP Get Business Newsletters: Subscribe Follow: SNAP Program , U.S. Department Of Agriculture , Food Stamps , Food Stamps Cards , Food Stamps Debit Cards , Snap Debit Cards , Usda , Business News — People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported. “Restarting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. An emergency voucher process was available in some of the areas while the problems were occurring, she said. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the government shutdown. Earlier Saturday shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said.
Quick Clicks Chesapeake Cares Food Pantry, located 30 miles from the political impasse in Washington that resulted in the shutdown, put together a food giveaway tailored to affected workers not at their jobs and not being paid. Roughly 200 people received bags of frozen meat, canned vegetables and other staples on Monday morning. “These folks (furloughed government employees) don’t know how to be poor,” said Rev. Robert Hahn, the head End Hunger in Calvert County, a consortium of food pantries in the area. “These folks are fish out of water and they feel humiliated, like they have lost their dignity.” This is the second offering Hahn’s group has made to federal employees. Last week, the group passed out 2,700 pounds of food to 71 different families. And if the government shutdown continues, Hahn said he anticipates his group will continue this sort of offering. The shutdown that began on October 1 has impacted hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors in the Washington region, including people at the epicenter of the partisan shutdown showdown in Congress. Washington-area food banks have responded to an unexpected need this fall created by the shutdown, their efforts already tested by a continued, uneven economic recovery and tough job market. Men and women were on both sides of the help on Monday in Calvert County — those receiving and those distributing food. Those helping out included one person who works for the Department of Justice and another employed by the Navy. CNN agreed not to identify furloughed workers receiving food due to a combination of their embarrassment and not wanting to hurt their employer. “Getting paid helps, but it doesn’t help right now,” said one, who acknowledged she’ll probably get paid once the shutdown ends. Still, the woman said she is struggling to put food on the table. Some told CNN they were living paycheck to paycheck.