Food Stamps

Greensboro skyline
Scott Moore, Flickr, Creative Commons

    

Voters in the Triad will decide today between Republicans Phil Berger Jr. and Mark Walker in a primary runoff election. 

The race has divided local Republicans over who is the more approachable candidate rather than establishment and Tea Party agendas. The winner of the GOP primary will face Democratic candidate Laura Fjeld in the general election. 

Secretary Aldona Wos
Jessica Jones

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.

NC Department of Health and Human Services logo
NC Department of Health and Human Services

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.

Tobacco barn and silos.
Brian Stansberry, via Wikipedia

Lawmakers are in negotiation for a five-year farm bill.  

SNAP
Dept. of Agriculture

People on food stamps have been receiving a little extra in their monthly payments thanks to the economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

But Friday, November 1, those extra benefits end.

NC FAST is the new electronic food stamp system.
NC FAST

The state's new electronic food distribution system or NC FAST has been beset by a myriad of software and other problems that have caused backlogs and delays in issuing food stamps.  The new system was rolled out to all 100 counties this past February in hopes of streamlining services for those in need.  David Atkinson is director of the Carteret County Department of social services. His county was one of the first to implement NC FAST. He says while his staff is among the most skilled at using the system, it only works about three quarters of the time.