Xerox and Walmart pointed fingers of blame at each other in the immediate aftermath of a public benefits card failure last month. Some shoppers saw that their cards showed no balance or limit and took the opportunity to strip store shelves. The administration of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal knows where the blame really belongs, though: with the shoppers. [More]
Over the weekend in Louisiana, some food stamp recipients realized that their EBT cards were suddenly showing up as having no limit, resulting in empty shelves and overflowing shopping carts as people tried to buy as much stuff as possible with their cards before the glitch was fixed. Now, Walmart and Xerox are playing the blame game over who’s at fault. [More]
In many states, various forms of public aid are placed on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that are then used by recipients to buy food and other necessary purchases. However, EBT users can’t always just walk into a bank to transfer funds from a card to another person’s checking account.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s latest report on its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps), a record 45.8 million Americans received SNAP benefits during the month of May, up 12% from the same month in 2010 and 34% from two years ago.
Finally following the lead of its competitors, Costco will accept food stamp cards. For core food items, not other merchandise. Two New York City stores, in Astoria, Queens, and in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will serve as test sites because of the high numbers of food stamp recipients nearby. If the program is successful, Costco will expand it to all other New York City stores, but there are no plans to expand the program to other cities or states.