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Walmart shelves cleared during computer glitch, store stuck with bill

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Two Walmart stores in Louisiana will be stuck with most of the bill after food stamp recipients went on a huge shopping spree this past weekend after a power outage temporarily lifted spending limits, resulting in cleared store shelves.

Police were called to the Walmart stores in Mansfield, La., and Springhill, La., on Saturday as shoppers were aggressively piling food in their shopping carts. Some customers were seen pushing 8-10 grocery carts out of the store.

According to a Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' spokesman, retailers who chose not to use the emergency procedures that limit sales up to $50 per EBT cardholder during an emergency would be responsible for any amount spent over limits during the outage.

The shopping frenzy was triggered after the Electronics Benefits Transfer system went down after a back-up generator failed at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday.

According to eyewitnesses, while the scene was chaotic, the customers were not unruly. No fights were reported and no arrests were made. Many customers described the scene as similar to Black Friday.

Around 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, a Walmart employee made an announcement that the computer system had been restored and all card limits had returned. At that time, many customers left shopping carts full of food inside the store.

No arrests were made.


  • Sandy Judy

    Those people should be arrested for stealing, they knew their benefit limits. It just shows you the character of people who would steal like that!

  • Br514098

    These same people live off these give away programs, that’s why we need to stop kicking the can down the road and shut the Government down until we can get hold of these give away programs and stop the foolishness. It’s these programs that’s keeping these same people not being able to get off the welfare. What did they expect from these people? They are use to everything being given to them for free.

    • Kathy

      That’s why they have “Don’t feed the Bears” signs at Yellowstone – because the bears might become dependent and then won’t want to go out and look for their own food!

  • pat kleinmaier

    Wal-Mart should never accepted the first card. Or at least set a small limit. The food waste had to be awful . All those carts full of meat and frozen foods which had to be thrown away.

  • Meloney

    They should have to pay it back…..Not Walmart or anyone else…They knew their limit and THEY chose to go on the shopping spree, If they don’t pay it back in a timely manner boot them off the program and put them in jail, stealings stealing….

    • vickie

      Ok ya can kiss my butt. I work 7 days a week., 49 plus hrs a wk. I had a very good job working 5 days a week n I lost my job. My son his girlfriend n my grandson all live with me. Yes they get food stamps. They both work part time jobs. where they work don’t let them work full time because they have 2 pay benefits. So before you put down everyone they are trying. Its hard when a lot of business don’t want to pay benefits so they hire all part time people And guess who one of them is …WALMART …So I think walmart is getting what they freaking deserve…They are money hungry…Walmart is also to blame if not more they knew about the problem and they were being just as greedy if not more. I’m not saying what the people did was right but walmart could have said NO… So before you say anything you need to change it to some people not all….. And before you say anything about the kids need to work 2 pt jobs…they work where someone is here with my grandson…so they cut cost out of daycare.

  • Terri S

    I could agree more with the statements above, parasites, and WE pay for it. They should definitely have their benefits revoved, have to pay it back AND serve jail time.

  • Mary Robbins

    Every one of these people must be arrested and convicted of fraud! They were stealing end of story.
    Just another reason to go back to the vary old system o a ticket for a bag of rice and beans!

  • ann

    The amount that they went over should be withheld from any further payouts. From what I have seen, the government gives them more to spend on groceries than I have, and I work 2 jobs.

  • Freedom Mama

    And all of you with your rude comments, keep voting for the same idiots. You all chose to put them in the white house. “well he has a charismatic smile ” but then question everything he does but still just goes along with it why? cause he is smiling at you trough your control media? You should continue to pay for, an always will pay for all those who on welfare!!! I guess you forget that all those people are not the same as everyone else. Many have jobs , some vets, some are elderly, disabled. I agree they did wrong, but you can not fully blame them. The emergency limit is $50.

    • Nicole

      Freedom Mama the people that stole have nothing to do with whomever is voted into office. If you don’t like those that are voted into office and their decision making than say something , like write your congressmen instead of complaining on a forum. Everyone should be writing there congressmen right now for taken away our rights.

      However stealing is stealing and has nothing to do with whomever is voted in office. Shame on anyone that thinks that this is ok.

      I don’t think they should go to prison, but there needs to be punishment and pay back what they stole. I think they should make them do volunteer work, kinda like pay it forward.

  • skinner

    The sytem was down 10 hrs ,i believe $50 would last that long,they should take their benefits away until they pay.

  • jason

    Prison. All of them are stealing. And what makes it worse they are stealing
    Something they get for free. GREED I think they should lose their benefits or
    even get 1/2 less of what they get per month. But I still say prison

  • Belinda Jurzyk

    when the system is down in the small stores like 7/11 they deny you and ask you to return later, there is no reason in the world why you need to buy $700.00 worth of anything except taking further advantages of tax payers, because I know they had no problem taking CASH…

  • Lauran

    It sickens me that you would want to throw these people in prison when they just want to make it. Almost all of them have children, children who need to EAT! Most people who are on food stamps need help with more than just food, so you really think that sending them to jail is going to repair their lives?

    • Nicole

      Sorry Lauran it is stealing. With the economy such as it is there are people that lost there jobs and can’t get food stamps to feed there family’s because they don’t qualify and they go without. If we or the United States allows this kinda of behavior the system becomes worse than it already is and it is no better than the government shut down. The government shut down is taken away our rights and stealing takes from others that try to do what is right and legal. I’m not saying that food stamps is a bad thing, I think that it is a great program cause we need to make sure that people can eat, but it does not need to be abused. I know people on food stamps and they eat better than most, so they don’t need to be stealing.

  • Razal

    It is disgusting that people would steal like this and there is no excuse for it. This wasn’t one or two people taking advantage, it was a majority! This is not a case of people trying to survive and feed hungry children. This was fraud, and anyone who defends this has ignorant stamped on their forehead.

  • Freeman

    I truly wish the government shut down had an impact on these people instead of folks in the military who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country. I wish they went without. Welfare is not working. It turns people into savages. Pure laziness. After this, I will never feel sorry for people on welfare again. This may be a blessing in disguise because maybe people will see there is no helping people who are just greedy and lazy.

  • Nicole

    What I don’t understand is Walmart knew that the EBT Card was a problem, so the smart thing to do and what would make since is to make an announcement that no EBT cards will be accepted until the computer problem is fixed. Where was management?

    I’m thinking that someone that has a EBT card and rings up 8-10 carts of grocery’s that obviously they went over there limit and should be questioned. WOW I cant believe that it was even allowed to happen.

    I don’t know all the details but I would think that during the computer problem there would be some limits or no one would be allowed to use there EBT cards until the system was fixed. Walmart should of taken control over the situation. It is obvious that they were allowing it to happen known that there was huge problem. Shame on the thief’s and shame on Walmart. I was also have to question that both stores affected were in the same state, so was this planned and was there fraud involved? Management needs to step up if they haven’t .

    Also the government has a record of all those people that went over there limit, because there card is connected to there name, address, phone, social security, etc. so I am sure there will be consequences. Those that excessively went over know they did and as far as I am concerned there needs to be criminal charges, because it is downright stealing,

  • mike

    All of you are just mad because you wasn’t at the store during the glitch. Because y’all would have probably did the same thing which was stealing

Comments are closed.

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