GREENSBORO, N.C. — Summer vacation is an exciting time for students, but for too many Piedmont families, the summer break means hungry children.
That’s where food stamps come in, but a statewide computer glitch in the distribution system is sending many families to local food pantries like Greensboro’s Urban Ministry, where the shelves are running bare.
“Just yesterday we helped 93 families. Typically we’d help about 50 families in one day during our busy time,” Ministry Director Mike Aiken said. “At this rate, we’ll probably be out of food in three or four days.”
Felicia White is among the many waiting on food stamps.
“My worker says the system is down or something, but i still have to eat,” White said.
The system, called “NC Fast” went online earlier this year. Since then, many people who qualify for food stamps have had to wait.
“This is something that isn’t just happening in Guilford County. It’s happening all over the state in all the different counties,” Aiken said.
However, computer glitches mean little to those wondering where their next meal will come from.
“I think they should fix this issue and do something about it, because there’s a lot of people who have kids and they can’t eat either,because they don’t have their food stamps as well,” White said.
While the shelves of Greensboro’s Urban Ministry are quickly running out of food, those in charge say the community has never let them down before.
“We know that people care, and they’ll respond once they know there’s a need,” Aiken said.