Posted: Oct 12, 2013 1:56 PM by katc
Updated: Oct 12, 2013 2:05 PM
Residents across the country and Southwest Louisiana have reported problems while attempting to use their SNAP (food stamp) cards Saturday.
Lindsey Deblieux with Child and Family Services says, the contractor that maintains the SNAP retail transactions and makes sure cards work, is calling the issue a "degradation of service for retail transaction". Deblieux says operators are working on the problem, but they are not sure when services will be up and running.
Deblieux adds this malfunction is in no way related to the government shutdown. The issue is just a service interruption.
According to a state agency director in Oklahoma, the problems were due to a system failure at a XEROX facility.
Sheree Powell, director of the ODHS told KFOR-TV that Xerox is the vendor for systems in several states. The system failure was the result of a power outage at the facility.
A call to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services was not answered Saturday.
SNAP is a government assistance program to help low-income households pay for food. SNAP used to be called the Food Stamp program. The amount of SNAP food stamps a household receives is determined by a household's size, income, and expenses.
Grocery stores in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Georgia, and several other states reported problems Saturday.
Powell told KFOR-TV the debit card system was running again, while the SNAP systems were being rebooted Saturday afternoon.