Food Stamps Program Offline

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The EBT card system is not working for thousands across the state, and folks in at least 10 other states.

US government officials said it's a problem with the vendor, and is not because of the government shutdown.

No matter where shoppers went Saturday in Pennsylvania, signs were all over the front doors of supermarkets saying food stamps are down or EBT is shut down.

At the Gerrity's on Meadow Avenue in Scranton, shoppers who usually rely on the food stamp program to buy groceries were unable to use those EBT cards. Management apologized for any inconvenience.

Workers at Gerrity's first noticed there was a problem around 11 a.m.

"We have no idea, like what exactly made it go down, and we're not sure when it's going to be coming back up, so just kind of waiting it out," said Eileen Kelly, Gerrity's employee.

That's the only choice food stamp users have right now, to wait.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Agriculture said a number of states are in the same predicament, and said it's due to a technical issue.

"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 the spokesperson.

No matter what supermarket employees tried to do to allow folks to use their EBT cards, it was not, and is not working.

"Just like one we tried to call it in, and it didn't go through, so other than that, nothing too major," said Kelly.

Again, folks who use the food stamp program, specifically EBT cards, are unable to buy food after an outage in the system.

There has been no word when the system may be back up and running.


  • Jim Parker

    There should be a limit on the amount of time people should be on food stamps. If you have to be on it for a year or more, then maybe its time to find a job or a better job. And its not my fault people have 6-7 or more kids and need help. If you cant afford them, then maybe you shouldnt of had them. Make this like the WIC program where you can only buy certain approved items as well! No more luxery!

  • ashbre

    Just because one receives foodstamps, does NOT mean they are a leach or a bum! How judgemental, I’m a single working mother, have TWO jobs, and I need a little help with food, is that so wrong?
    I get no financial help from family, I’m completely on my own, have my own apartment and pay all my own bills. So sorry that I need some help with getting food for my daughter and I.

    Don’t lump all Foodcard users into one category.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of people who abuse the system, but not all.

  • Bryan

    Jim, I concur, but we only have 68% of the beneficiaries abusing the system. Meanwhile federals have no idea when they’re actually getting paid but “eventually” to pay bill, buy food, and support the leaches. I’m sorry abuser… Was it hard getting up at 11:30 this morning to only find out your free food card wouldn’t work? This makes me aggravated. I might as well quit and join in…

  • elena

    Some people have jobs and still need foodstamps so maybe u should not tell people to get off their bums and get a job because a lot of them already do

  • Jim Parker

    Federal employees are working without pay and these people are complaining because the EBT system was down for a couple hours! Suck it up and go get a job! Glad I’m working hard so these bums can get hand outs!!

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