Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they've made great strides in reducing a backlog of food stamp recipients who weren't receiving their benefits. The USDA had issued the state a warning that unless it reduced the backlog of claims before a Monday deadline, North Carolina could lose 88 million dollars' worth of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Julie Henry is a spokeswoman for DHHS. "As of January 23rd there were a large number of cases that had yet to be processed in our counties. And over the last two weeks, through a very focused effort on the part of the counties and by our state staff supporting counties, we've been able to reduce that number by more than 92 percent," says Henry.
Henry says state and county workers are set to work this weekend to process the remaining applications in order to meet Monday's deadline.