Written by: Katie Kyros
People who use state welfare EBT or ACCESS cards had to leave some grocery stores without food on Saturday, when a power outage disconnected the system. The system is now back up and running.
Xerox now says “full functionality” has been restored in all 17 states effected. They’re working to investigate the cause of the issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Signs were posted in front of many stores that normally accept food stamps, including Turkey Hill and Wal-Mart.
The power outage happened at a Xerox data center in Texas. It controls the benefit system in more than a dozen states. Xerox says it was a routine test that caused the temporary shutdown. The system was fixed fairly quickly, but stores across the country, including in Pennsylvania, continued to deal with connection problems. Amelia’s s Grocery Outlet could not connect. One woman who planned to use food stamps left the store without food. She says she’s felt judged for using food stamps and didn’t want to be shown on camera.
“When I walked up, I saw the sign that said the EBT system was down and we turned around,” she says. “I raise three kids by myself, I do work full-time and I pay my taxes. It’s still very helpful for me to be able to have the food stamps to be able to help my family out.”
The cards should now up useable again for all EBT cardholders.