Glitch Torpedoes Food Stamps in 17 States

Xerox said it had restored service by last night
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2013 6:31 AM CDT
Glitch Torpedoes Food Stamps in 17 States
In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, an Electronic benefit Transfer card, which food stamp recipients use to purchase food.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(Newser) – You might think that the nation's food stamps program finds its biggest threat in the House of Representatives, but yesterday it was an innocent test of a backup system that felled the system in 17 states, including Ohio and Michigan. The system failure that began yesterday morning took out the EBT debit-card system, leaving shoppers unable to pay for groceries. Emergency vouchers were available in some areas, reports the AP, but many who use the benefits were simply out of luck. "You don't want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity," said one woman affected by the outage.

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"It's been terrible," said one cashier in Mississippi. "It's just been some angry folks. That's what a lot of folks depend on." Xerox Corp., the vendor who was running the routine tests, said it had restored service by last night. Affected states were: Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. (Read more food stamps stories.)

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