Ohioans who use the federal food stamp system ran into trouble this weekend. Lisa Hamler Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks says the system went down when upgrades that the states didn’t know about were being made. The outage happened Saturday morning and went on for 12 hours in much of Ohio. Hamler Fugitt says to make matters worse, some retailers seemed to be unaware that they could call a one eight hundred number to get authority to allow recipients to purchase up to $50 worth of groceries on their accounts. And she says that forced many recipients to use cash they were saving for rent or utilities.
"Again, this has been a disaster. It has harmed a lot of low income working families who were not making it already. And to have to take money they had set aside for rent, a mortgage payment or utilities or gas to get to work, it’s going to make further hardships on them throughout the month."
The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbank’s Lisa Hamler Fugitt says there is an even bigger problem looming in the food stamp program. She says, if the government doesn’t end the shutdown and authorize an increase in the debt ceiling, the food stamp program will be cut off in November.