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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Access to a food stamp program was has been restored. A problem with EBT cards started Saturday morning affecting 17 states and preventing people from buying groceries.
Xerox is the company behind the system they tell us the system stopped working during a routine test on one of the back up generators. They 're still looking into the exact cause of the crash. They released a statement saying, "Beneficiary access to programs such as SNAP, TANF, and other programs has been restored to the 17 States where Xerox provides EBT service. Re-starting the EBT system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality. Beneficiaries who required immediate access to their benefits could work with their local merchants who could activate an emergency voucher process where available. We appreciate our clients’ patience while we resolved this issue and apologize for any inconvenience. We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve. We continue to investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur."
The system was down for about 10 hours. It created big lines at grocery stores while people waited for the system to get fixed.
"We went shopping and waiting in line it's been about three hours," said Christal Walls.
Customers had carts full of food and no way to pay at the Walmart on Alpine.
"A lot of this stuff is probably going to melt and stuff, we've got like frozen stuff and milk," said Stephanie Minty.
Local grocery stores have had to turn customers away.
"I'm like I'm sorry, but it's not our fault," said Jeannie Taylor a manager at a local store.
The USDA says this was not related to the government shut down.
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