SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A computer glitch that left some families unable to buy groceries Saturday because of an error accessing the government assistance program, has been fixed, according to Xerox.
The system had been having problems across the country in 17 states after a routine test of the Xerox system experienced a temporary shutdown, according to the company.
“Re-starting the EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) system required time to ensure service was back at full functionality,” Xerox said in a statement.
That shutdown left many families going home empty handed after being turned away at grocery stores.
“I have no options. I’m completely broke,” said Satima Katumbusi.
For 3 hours, she and her 4-year-old son have been waiting.
“We have a whole bag of groceries waiting to be cashed out,” said Katumbusi.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says EBT cards were temporarily down statewide because of problems with an outside vendor.
“It’s taking away from my kids either way it goes,” said Shayla Davis.
With six kids, Davis says even though her EBT card isn’t working, she’s still buying groceries.
“I have no other choice,” said Davis. “I have to feed my kids.”
Her other bills are going to suffer though, because she has to use that money for groceries.
“I’m short on my PG&E bill, so I’ll be trying to come back up with that PG&E money,” said Davis.
Katumbusi doesn’t have the extra cash to buy her groceries, and is wondering what she will do if her EBT card continues to not work.
“My boy is hungry,” she said.
Xerox issued an apology to those families affected by the outage.
“We appreciate our clients’ patience while we resolved this issue and apologize for any inconvenience. We realize that access to these benefits is important to families in the states we serve.”
The statement went on to say the company is investigating the cause of the issue and is taking precautions to avoid a similar disruption in the future.