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EBT Card Access to Food Stamps Restored
DAYTON -- EBT cards stopped working late Saturday morning after the vendor Xerox had a system failure while performing a maintenance test.
This had workers at places like Food 4 Less off Third Street in Dayton getting an earful.
Nearly 100 people were turned away because the cards wouldn't work.
"It's embarrassing when you have to put all your groceries back because the food stamp system is down," says Candice Crouch, a customer who was turned away.
After being down for about 12 hours, the system started working in all 17 states around 10 p.m. Sunday.
DAYTON -- More tough news for those who rely on the government for assistance.
The food stamp card system is down for thousands of people including those here in Ohio.
As of 8:30 p.m. Sunday night the system was still down.
Altogether 17 states are dealing with the outage which is a result of a system failure by Xerox Corporation.
Spokesperson Jennifer Wasmer said in an email that after a routine test of backup systems the system failed.
Food 4 Less on East Third Street in Dayton tells us they've turned away more than 60 people on Saturday.
"When we called this morning they said it could take 30 minutes to two hours and that was at 10:30 a.m.," said Amber Singh, Cashier for Food 4 Less.
U.S. Department of Agriculture released a statement saying, "EBT cards in a number of states have temporarily stopped working today due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves these states is experiencing. The vendor is working to fix this issue and EBT cards will work again once it is resolved. This issue is not related to the government shutdown."
Candice Crouch of Dayton relies on food stamps as she's been unable to find a job for two years, "when you font have income because you don't have a job because there aren't any jobs out here, it puts food on your table."
Crouch had been to Food 4 Less three different times hoping the system would be back up, "its frustrating," she said.
According the Associated Press, Xerox is notifying retailers to revert to the manual system, meaning customers can spend up to $50.00 until the system is back online. Recipients of the state's supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP, should call the 800 number on the back of their card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process.
It is unclear when they will be back up.
UPDATE--Officials have confirmed problems with the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.
A spokesperson from the United States Department of Agriculture released this statement.
"EBT cards in a number of states have temporarily stopped working today due to a technical issue that the vendor that serves these states is experiencing. The vendor is working to fix this issue and EBT cards will work again once it is resolved. This issue is not related to the government shutdown," said spokesperson Courtney Rowe.
DAYTON -- Several Electronic Benefit Transfer card users are reporting problems redeeming food stamps to purchase groceries at nearby stores.
Our sister station in Cincinnati says they've been receiving similar calls from EBT card users.
The cause of the error is unknown at this time.
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