Access Restored For Food Stamp Users, Xerox Says

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Starting at about 11 a.m. EDT, some of those cards stopped working, Lightfoot said. Shortly before 10 p.m. EDT, the company said access was restored, and promised to work to improve its system so that similar events do not occur. “We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve,” the company said in a statement provided by Lightfoot. “We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur.” The glitch was unrelated to the partial federal government shutdown that began on October 1, Lightfoot said, adding it was unclear how many beneficiaries were affected. The breakdown involved the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children program. Edlyn Bautista, assistant manager at the Food Basics supermarket in Belleville, New Jersey, said many customers abandoned their groceries in frustration. “A lot of carts were left behind,” Bautista said. “The store is empty.” At the Pathmark grocery in Newark, New Jersey, workers had to reshelve perishable items after customers walked away, according to store officials. “Initially, the customers were leaving carriages in the aisle because we couldn’t give them a timetable,” said a store manager who asked not to be identified.

Power outage shuts U.S. food stamp program for hours in 17 states

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A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 572 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Access restored for food stamp users, Xerox says Staff and wire reports, USA TODAY 10:28 p.m. EDT October 12, 2013 A customer swipes a food stamp card at a Kroger store May 12, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo: Jay LaPrete for USA TODAY) Story Highlights Some Electronic Benefits Transfer systems was experiencing connectivity issues People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food stamp debit-style cards Saturday A routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. SHARE 12417 CONNECT 616 TWEET 572 COMMENTEMAILMORE People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food stamp debit-style cards Saturday after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access had been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported. “Re-starting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email. Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena told USA TODAY that some Electronic Benefits Transfer systems were experiencing connectivity issues after a routine test of a backup system at a location in the Midwest caused an outage at about 10 a.m. ET. The test was part of a regular maintenance schedule, Arena said. Xerox started receiving calls soon afterward. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage was not related to the federal government shutdown.