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Food stamp victim gets help from ABC11 viewer

A local woman waited months to get her benefits recertified last year, only to be put back on the waiting list.
January 18, 2014 9:00:49 AM PST
Tens of thousands of people in North Carolina are still waiting for DHHS to approve their food stamp applications.

ABC11 spoke with a local woman last week who waited months before finally getting her benefits recertified last year, only to be put on the waiting list, again.

Now an ABC11 viewer has stepped in to help.

"Thank you so much...I praise God for this, I really do," said Kelly Swanson.

Bill Langley showed up at the Food Lion on Fayetteville Road in Raleigh, so touched by Swanson's story that he offered to take her and her two young daughters grocery-shopping Friday.

He says he cannot bear the thought of families, especially children going hungry because of the food stamp delays.

Swanson says she has been to Wake County Human Services every day since ABC11 saw her last Friday. Even though she has received some help from local food pantries, she says she is not able to feed her children enough nutritious meals.

Langley helped stock Swanson's cart full of fruits, vegetables, and meat. The single mother says she is overwhelmed with this incredible act of kindness.

? Click here for a legislative update regarding NC FAST and the processing of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits. ?

"This means everything. My kids can eat and it's a blessing, it's a blessing," said Swanson.

"It just touched my heart. I thought about her and those little children not having enough to eat, and I just felt like I had to do something," said Langley.

Swanson is just one of 1000's of people still waiting for their food benefits. Right now, about 3,900 applications are pending in Wake County, nearly 2,300 in Cumberland County, and almost 1,000 in Durham County. In Orange County, the number is nearing 200.

Those figures do not include the thousands of people waiting to be recertified. NC DHHS tells the USDA it expects to have all applications processed by the end of March.

"It hurts to know that people are going without food, not able to feed themselves and their children," said Langley.

Langley's generosity did not end at the checkout line. Food Lion followed his example, presenting Swanson with a $50 gift card on her way out the door.

"It's a whole new day," said Swanson.


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