Baton Rouge shoppers deal with SNAP EBT card issues
POSTED: Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 7:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 10:06am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Shoppers in Baton Rouge ran into trouble trying to use their EBT cards to access SNAP Benefits Saturday.
Karen McGill tried to use her card at Hi Nabor, but couldn't get access her benefits.
"I can't buy no groceries today," McGill said. "I can't eat today. I'm trying to make groceries, but I can't. It's just terrible that you can't use what's due to you. The system is down everywhere they're telling me and you can't use your card anywhere. Even if you have your benefits on there you can't spend them, because all the systems is down. "
EBT cards used for SNAP benefits stopped working Saturday Morning. According to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services the company they hire to run the EBT cards had service problems.
Saturday evening around 6:30 a spokesman with DCFS released the following statement: "The contractor that maintains SNAP EBT services for the state of Louisiana has informed DCFS that some store systems that handle EBT transactions have returned to service. The contractor expects additional stores to do the same in the next few hours. The multi-state system outage began at approximately 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 12."
The delay of services caused headaches for card users and grocers across the city.
"It's the worst possible time," Blake Overton, Assistant manger Reeves Market, said. "People are trying to get ready for the game they're trying to cook for their friends it's just a big inconvenience for them and for us. "
Overton said there was little stores could do: "The only thing we can really tell them is if they have another way to pay that's the best thing to do we don't have any other way to use the card or use the benefits at all."
Grocers spent part of the day having to restock the items folks couldn't pay for because the cards were down.
Card users like McGill said it was a very frustrating situation.
"I guess I'll just have to finish eating what I do have at home and wait until the benefits come on there. I mean you can't do anything but wait," McGill said.