Power Outage Shuts U.s. Food Stamp Program For Hours In 17 States

Shoppers may buy more fruit, veggies when prices dip

federal empire is unraveling Today’s failure of the EBT card system is yet more evidence that the U.S. empire is rapidly falling apart. The disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov proved yet again that the Obama administration is utterly incapable of competently managing a simple R&D development project. And rather than trying to help Americans become more independent and self-reliant, Obama has worked hard to put as many people on social welfare programs as possible, vastly expanding the role of government to the point where millions of Americans no longer have any concept of having a job or supporting themselves. As an example of this, AP quotes a cashier named Eliza Shook who said, “It’s been terrible. It’s just been some angry folks. That’s what a lot of folks depend on.” And that’s true. Without EBT cards, millions of Americans have no way to feed themselves. They depend entirely on government just to put food on the table. So when that government fails them, they panic. This is why I have long held that the day America collapses into chaos is the day when EBT cards go offline and stay offline for 72 hours.

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. “That’s a problem. There are a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced,” Colman said. She planned to reach out to local officials. “You don’t want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity,” she said.

According to postings on social media site Twitter which surprisingly many persons depending on public assistance are apparently on Food Stamps users thought that their governmental benefit of having the program was gone until the shutdown in Washington, D.C. had ended. Many were quick to blame those “damn Republicans” even though their anger was severely misdirected. The government shutdown – regardless of who one wants to blame – wasnt the blame for the EBT card’s system at all. Much like the horrendous first week of Obamacare with its multiple technical glitches, the EBT system – which pays for persons with that type of government aid had a glitch of its own. Customers throughout the 17 states who were affected by the systems outage had to leave their groceries at the register and go home without them unless they had another way to pay for their purchases. Some store owners chose to close in areas where many or most of their customers pay with the government assistance. A USDA spokesperson said that the EBT cards in a number of states had temporarily stopped working on Saturday due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves many states is experiencing. The statement said that the vendor was working to fix the issue and EBT cards will only be accepted when the issue is resolved. The statement specifically stated that the issue had nothing to do with the government shutdown. The report claims that Food Stamps would be good up to a year if the governments shut down were to last that long.

Food Stamps don’t work with EBT card system glitch: Shutdown not to blame

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food stamp program for hours in 17 states Some supermarkets unable to take food stamps (Getty / October 12, 2013) Related Sharon Bernstein Reuters 9:59 p.m. CDT, October 12, 2013 SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – A brief power outage caused food stamp recipients in 17 states to lose access for much of Saturday to the electronic system used by stores to verify their benefits, leaving many unable to buy groceries, the company that manages the system said. The power outage that started the problem was fixed within 20 minutes, Xerox Corp spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said, but shoppers kept running into difficulties through the day. People enrolled in the government food assistance program use plastic vouchers similar to debit cards. Starting at about 11 a.m. EDT, some of those cards stopped working, Lightfoot said. Shortly before 10 p.m. EDT, the company said access was restored, and promised to work to improve its system so that similar events do not occur. “We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve,” the company said in a statement provided by Lightfoot. “We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur.” The glitch was unrelated to the partial federal government shutdown that began on October 1, Lightfoot said, adding it was unclear how many beneficiaries were affected. The breakdown involved the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children program. Edlyn Bautista, assistant manager at the Food Basics supermarket in Belleville, New Jersey, said many customers abandoned their groceries in frustration. “A lot of carts were left behind,” Bautista said. “The store is empty.” At the Pathmark grocery in Newark, New Jersey, workers had to reshelve perishable items after customers walked away, according to store officials. “Initially, the customers were leaving carriages in the aisle because we couldn’t give them a timetable,” said a store manager who asked not to be identified.