|Updated: 10/13/2013 12:25 am
||Published: 10/13/2013 12:22 am
Denied- that’s what people who use state issued EBT cards saw Saturday. That means they had no access to money to buy food. Fox23 confirmed EBT cards shut down Saturday morning.
FOX23 learned the government shutdown did not cause food stamps cards to stop working. We found out that the vendor the state uses to process the cards had a power outage and shut down.
Lisa Taylor’s 2-year-old toddler doesn’t have any worries in the world, but what the little girl doesn’t know is her mom is worrying about how she’ll put food on table Saturday night.
Taylor said, “It’s just nerve racking. I just can’t. I just don’t know what to do.”
Taylor told FOX23’s Price McKeon she went to pick up milk and formula at the grocery store Saturday morning.
She said, “I got all my groceries went up to the cashier to cash out swiped my food stamp card.”
Then she said her card got a denied. So she said she ran over to the gas station next door and her card was denied again.
She said, “Apparently it’s everybody because my friends, my family ,they all can’t get into their food stamps.”
McKeon called the number on the back of the car.
An automated message said, “We are temporarily unable to access your account. Please call again at a later time.”
But it let McKeon continue going through the options until it led her to the same message, well almost the same message.
It said, “We are temporarily unable to access your account. Please call again at a later time. Goodbye.” It then hung up the phone.
Taylor said, “The same message all day.”
FOX23 checked with Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services. Spokesperson Sheree Powell told McKeon on the phone the state contracts with Xerox to process the EBT cards and the vendor had a power outage Saturday.
When FOX23 got ahold of a spokesperson at Xerox, they gave a statement. It read during a routine test, their EBT system had a temporary shutdown.
It continues to state technical staff is addressing the issue and expect the system to be restored soon.
FOX23 found signs posted in West Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Midtown, and East Tulsa.
Xerox’s statement said people that need their benefits can work with local retailers and in some areas can activate an emergency voucher system.
We will continue to work to find out when the system is fully restored. Please check back for updates.