Food stamp network technical outage sparks outrage

By George Chidi
Saturday, October 12, 2013 21:53 EDT
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A “routine test” of Xerox’ computer back-up systems left food-stamp card holders in 17 states without access to food benefits Saturday morning.

Xerox’s Electronic Benefits Transfer system shut down temporarily during the glitch, Xerox said Saturday.

“While the system is now up and running, beneficiaries in the 17 affected states continue to experience connectivity issues to access their benefits,” the company said. “This disruption impacts EBT beneficiaries who rely on the system for SNAP and WIC. Technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon. Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available.”

The outage is not related to the government shutdown, USDA spokeswoman Courtney Rowe said Saturday afternoon.

Affected states include Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

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