Some Ohioans Find SNAP Food Cards Rejected At Grocery Stores


UPDATED: Saturday October 12, 2013 11:57 PM

Grocery stores and markets across Ohio had signs posted, letting customers know the system to process food stamp payments was down on Saturday.

The program commonly known as Food Stamps in Ohio is called SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Users are given Electronic Benefit Cards similar to a debit card, to pay for food.

A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family services said there was a system outage that is impacting the automated system that allows access to SNAP cards.

According to Deputy Director for Communication Benjamin Johnson, the Xerox cash and food assistance card payment system went down at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Saturday night Xerox released a statement saying its system was back up and running, but 10TV called several local grocery stores and they report their systems were still down.

A spokesperson for Giant Eagle said its system was back online.

For the countless people who rely on food assistance to get by, it's been an upsetting shock.

It's not just here in Columbus, nor just in Ohio-- the system was down across 17 states.

One of the families impacted is JoAnn Miller's. While shopping for her brother's birthday dinner, she had to pay cash, using money she’d set aside to pay her water bill.

“I have a headache right now,” said Miller. “Very frustrating, very frustrating. Because not only not to just make my brother happy for his birthday, but to figure out what am I going to do now before Wednesday comes to pay my water bill. It's very frustrating."

The state says the outage has nothing to do with the federal government shutdown.  JoAnn's not convinced.

"They're going against each other and they're putting it on us as Americans to deal with it. And it's not fair for us."

Raymond's birthday dinner went on as planned, but his big sister's worries aren't over.

"I still have to be the adult and be responsible and figure something out,” she said. “Because come Wednesday I don't want them coming to cut my water off because I had to go buy food."

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