Access restored for food stamp users, Xerox saysShoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn't get their benefits, said fellow 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's a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced," Colman said. "No one should put maintenance in during the daytime."
She planned to reach out to local officials.
"I'm trying to reach out to everybody because I'm not thinking of me an adult who can figure out things. I'm thinking of the simpler person in the world who is sitting there trying to just do basic shopping to feed their kids. You don't want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity," she said.
Colman said the store manager promised her that he would honor the day's store flyer discounts next week.
Illinois residents began reporting problems with their cards — known as LINK in that state — on Saturday morning, said Januari Smith, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Smith said that typically when the cards aren't working retailers can call a backup phone number to find out how much money a customer has available in their account. But that information also was unavailable because of the outage, so customers weren't able to use their cards.
In Clarksdale, Miss. — one of the poorest parts of one of the poorest states in the nation — cashier Eliza Shook said dozens of customers at Corner Grocery had to put back groceries when the cards failed Saturday because they couldn't afford to pay for the food. After several hours, she put a sign on the front door to tell people about the problem.
"It's been terrible," Shook said in a phone interview. "It's just been some angry folks. That's what a lot of folks depend on."
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Walmart allowed this to happen. It's on them. I have no idea what they were thinking but it was really stupid. Exactly how does a store manager make that decision. "Hmmm...the system is down. Therefore the system won't show the limits of the users. I can limit transactions to $50 or eat the cost when customers leave with hundreds of dollars worth of food."The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' spokesman Trey Williams said the retailers who chose not to use the emergency procedures that limit sales up to $50 per cardholder during an emergency would be responsible for any additional amount spent over eligible benefit balances.
Is it all possible that Walmart thought they would be reimbursed for the amount later?
Our Walmarts (and other stores) all had signs saying they couldn't accept EBT because the system was down.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
Walmart can afford it. Just look at it like a donation from Walmart... It's about time they do something nice, maybe they can start paying their employees better next.
ok, first there were 2 different outages with the ebt system.
the maintence one, no one could use there cards.
this one, in lousiana was different. the safeguard thats supposed to be in place till the system could be restored failed and thats why there were no limits. honestly. it's both walmart and the people getting food stamps fault. walmart knew it was down and let people continue to buy multiple carts (some people went back after already buying 6-8 carts of food)....they should totally be held liable. the people who did shop should be kicked off and made to pay the money back.