Food stamps delayed in Wake County

April 11, 2013 1:13:21 PM PDT
There are 39,000 families in Wake County who rely on food stamps, but some of those are being forced to wait to get the help they need.

A new computer system launched in February helps administer the food stamps. With a recent backlog in cases, some families are waiting anywhere from one to three months to get their food stamps.

Last month, Wake County Human Services was only able to see two-thirds the usual number of clients.  

"We cannot see as many people each day who are trying to apply as we could under the old system," Wake County Human Services' Liz Scott said.

This leaves people like single mom Shanna Toney left waiting for help.

"They did not give me a timeline, they didn't give me a date, they didn't technically even give me any notification," Toney said.

Toney said she only found out about the delay when she called to make sure Wake County Human Services had received her updated paperwork.

"It kind of bothers me because I know I am not the only person in this situation. There is a lot of families who benefit from these services and are without right now," Toney said. "A single parent income, you know it adds up, and the food stamps really do help."

Wake County Human Services says they are trying to get caught up on cases.

"We're very concerned about the backlog and we've hired some temporary staff to help us through the transition," Scott said.

They have hired 30 new staffers and employees are working overtime nights and weekends to try and catch up.

The department claims the new system will be more efficient and make things easier for clients once it is in place. The initial entry into the system is more time consuming, as well as applications to get recertified.

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