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Computer Glitch Shuts Food Stamps Program Across 17 States, Including Calif.

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — Shoppers in as many as 17 states — including California — found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit cards Saturday after a computer glitch threw the system off-line.

Government officials made it clear the glitch had nothing to do with the current shutdown.

Officials with Xerox said the problem was caused by a system upgrade that failed.

“This disruption impacts EBT beneficiaries who rely on the system for SNAP and WIC…Beneficiaries requiring access to their benefits can work with their local retailers who can activate an emergency voucher system where available.” Xerox wrote in a statement.

Whatever the cause, shoppers in California told KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold they were just glad the problem got fixed

Many shoppers found themselves stranded at the register once their cards were declined.

Weingold asked a declined Jeff Melkom what he planned to do.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

“They are sad, some customers are mad, some customers say they have 200 or 400 dollars on the card but why isn’t it working?,” said store clerk Sadnam Sandh.

Weingold reported that “all” of the stores she visited didn’t seem to know about the emergency voucher system, per Xerox’s statement. Instead, signs were posted outside telling customers they were not accepting EBT.

“I think it’s difficult because if your  EBT card gives you money on certain dates of the month and you can only go shopping on that day and today is your day off it’s got to be very frustrating,” said shopper Kimberley Macgregor.

Xerox had the system back up and running and all connectivity issues resolved by Saturday evening.

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