WELCHES SHUTDOWN EBT IMPACT

(KPTV image)

WELCHES, OR (KPTV) - The government shutdown is now having an effect on people in Oregon who do not work for the Federal Government. A handful of grocery stores are no longer able to run EBT cards, a government subsidy for food.

Workers at the Hoodland Thriftway in Welches said their machines that process EBT cards stopped working just before Christmas. At first, they thought it was an internet outage, but what was odd is they could process debt and credit transactions.

Store managers said they called suppliers trying to figure out what was going on and were told to call the USDA, the government agency that oversees EBT cards.

Employees said they were met with recorded messages.

“I just ended up at the USDA office with a recorded message that says until the government is back in service we can’t get it up and running again,” Jamie Ladd, a store manager said.

According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, which oversees Oregon’s EBT, they have taken several calls from different stores with issues processing EBT cards.

They told FOX 12 stores like the Thriftway in Welches go through a periodic review with the USDA. If that review is not done then the store is disconnected from the EBT network, meaning they can’t process the transaction.

With no one at the USDA to oversee those reviews and process them, stores are being disconnected until the shutdown is over with.

Managers at the Thriftway in Welches said they never got the notice of periodic review in the first place.

Workers at Oregon DHS said they are concerned if the shutdown continues that more stores may lose the ability to connect to the EBT system.

Emails and calls to the USDA for comment were met with messages saying the department would respond when the government shutdown ends.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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