GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C.— Guilford County residents who depend on food stamp benefits each month are under a delay in processing until June.
Guilford County Division director Steve Hayes said the conversion process transferring the previous clients into the new computer system, NC Fast, is taking longer than expected.
“The issue that we’ve had is NC Fast asks all the questions that would be necessary for a family to receive every program,” Hayes said.”Everybody’s going to have to go through it, every case that already receiving. However once you go through it the system seems to be going just fine.”
The new system is expected to be more accurate and helpful for clients who may need to apply for any other government assistance program.
Client Andrea Wilson said she has not received food stamps since November.
“I’m lucky that I’m by myself but I’m on medication and I can’t eat like I’m supposed to because you know you have to have food on your stomach to take medication and then i have to borrow food from people and stuff it’s just embarrassing,” Wilson said.
Hayes asks clients to be patient during the process and can help by turning in their paperwork on time.
“We apologize for any delay that is our fault and we are working as hard as we can to make that better,” Hayes said.
Guilford County serves about 45,000 people each month for food stamps issuing 12 million dollars to clients; the largest county of the five in the NC Fast pilot program.
State Food and Nutrition representatives said the conversion process takes approximately six months. Guilford County is on its fourth month.
All counties in North Carolina will begin the new system in March.