Posted: Oct 12, 2013 9:01 PM by Chris Welty
Updated: Oct 13, 2013 8:24 PM
Many residents across the country found themselves unable to use their food stamp cards due to a system failure.
Seventeen states are affected including Louisiana. A spokesperson for XEROX says some electronic benefits transfer systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues. Technicians are addressing the issue, but they say the system should be restored soon.
Like many across the country, shoppers here in Acadiana could not use their card and rumors circulated blaming the government shutdown.
One store in Acadian posted a sign saying, "Obama shutdown the food stamp machine." Businesses and people looking for answers quickly pointed fingers to the federal government.
"A supervisor came up and said it's due to the government shutdown. I said ok, knowing the frustrations of what's happening," said Karen Cox.
She was shopping for her disabled daughter, Alison, who depends on food stamps. She's frustrated management at Target blamed the federal government for her daughter's SNAP card not working. "I said I understand it's a glitch. He said, the glitch is because of the shutdown. I tried to reiterate if they provided me with accurate information, I could have made a better informed decisions on what to do and how to handle this."
Cox says Alison can't work and has to have around the clock care. If anyone pays her bills, it could affect the amount of food stamps she receives.
"She's one that's truly in need and I feel for all those people who are in need and can't get their food," said Cox.
Shoppers abandoned full carts when their food stamp card was denied. Many people not knowing when the system would be back up, used money designated for other bills to buy food for their family.
"There's a misconception that everyone receiving government assistance is just lazy and doesn't want to work. That's not the case," said Cox.
Officers were called to the Breaux Bridge Walmart today for crowd control after customers became "irate." Walmart employees confirm customers became "loud and out of control" when their food stamps were denied.
The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services says some store systems handling EBT transactions are back up and running. The department hopes to have all food stamp services working by the end of the night.