State health officials say they have cleared an enormous backlog of food stamp applications that could have caused North Carolina to lose 80 million dollars’ worth of federal funding. The head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Aldona Wos spoke before lawmakers in a committee meeting earlier today.
"We, the state of North Carolina, believe that we have successfully achieved our first milestone with the USDA in reference to delay in the recertification of our applications," said Wos.
Wos also said county and state social services workers as well as some legislative volunteers completed the herculean task by working many weekends and long days. In late January, federal officials at the USDA sent North Carolina a letter saying that unless a massive backlog of food stamp applications was resolved, the state could lose funds. Wos says there are 25 applications left to process. Some lawmakers asked whether the backlog could happen again. Wos says the department is working on a plan to help county offices process applications.