Xerox runs EBT card systems for 17 states. All were affected by the outage. Ohio’s cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said fellow shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said. “That’s a problem. There’s a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced,” Colman said. “No one should put maintenance in during the daytime.” She planned to reach out to local officials. “I’m trying to reach out to everybody because I’m not thinking of me an adult who can figure out things. I’m thinking of the simpler person in the world who is sitting there trying to just do basic shopping to feed their kids.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that it would stop issuing WIC benefits because of a lack of funding. Thats a blow to the state, where one in four children go hungry every day. WIC provides benefits to 270,000 women, infants and children in North Carolina each month . Far from being a traditional welfare program, evidence suggests that WIC actually saves public dollars by providing cost-effective health care and nutrition to at-risk families. In North Carolina, for example, every WIC dollar spent on a pregnant woman saves $3.13 in Medicaid costs during the first 60 days of the babys life. WIC participation leads to lower infant mortality rates, fewer sick kids and higher rates of immunizations. Those benefits pay off long term, according to WIC proponents who cite studies showing that four and five year-olds who participate in WIC in early childhood have better vocabularies and digit memory scores than comparable children who do not participate in WIC. Participation in the program is based on eligibility. Women and children (up to five years of age) who meet the eligibility criteria receive food and cash-value vouchers for a variety of healthy foods (you can review NCs list of approved WIC foods here, downloads as a pdf). Those benefits appeared to be in jeopardy Tuesday. After hearing that DHHS could not support additional benefits and would, instead, refer families to community food banks, Food Lion, a NC-based grocery chain, stepped up to help out. Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group (NYSE: DEG). Founded as Food Town in 1957, today Food Lion is one of the largest supermarket companies in the United States, operating approximately 1,300 supermarkets in 11 states and employing 73,000 workers. As a nod to its North Carolina base, Food Lion made a $500,000 donation to seven regional food banks across the state to support those who need food assistance to feed their families.
As States Struggle During Government Shutdown, Companies Like Food Lion Step Up
Q: How do you cook at home? A: Very, very simply. I have a wife who is not a foodie. … See, my problem is I dont cook really from recipes at home; I cook every day at home, but I never use a recipe, so I am constantly making stuff up. … I tend to use time as an ingredient more than I used to. Not the herb thyme, although thats fine too. So my larder … has become more and more simple. …