Food Stamp Cards in Kentucky, not working : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

On Sunday my husband and I went out to the local Sav-A-Lot and purchased more supplies. When going into the store, we noticed long lines and irate looking customers. After doing our shopping, we stood in line for 25 minutes waiting to pay for our purchases. I finally got aggravated and went out to the car. A friend, who is also the assistant manger came wheeling in the parking lot. I asked her why checking out was going so slow. She said the computers for the state were down, the ones for the new welfare cards. All customers buying with cards had their cards rejected. The store had to issue a voucher for the customer to sign. It was then up to the store to do all the paperwork in order to get their money. My friend said she had talked to several stores and it was a statewide glitch. Needless to say, she was a lot more aggravated then I was.

You will never see it on the news.

-- Linda A. (, October 11, 1999



What part of KY? I'm in Maysville, and we didn't notice it at Sav-A- Lot here.

Jess wunderin'


-- Man From Uncle 1999 (, October 11, 1999.

From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California

Linda, thanks for taking the time to tell us about this. If you're a first time poster, welcome to the forum. Please excuse if you're a frequent poster and I missed it... we have a few Linda's. I hope this doesn't come off as terribly rude, but this is the kind of information that would be posted to show that the people of this forum hop on any negative information, no matter how undocumented.

Please, provide more detail, if possible. Did you contact your local newspapers and try to get them to report on this? Can you get anything from Sav-A-Lot or other stores in your state that document how they are dealing with the situation? Does anyone at the appropriate government agency have anything to say about it? If this is being ignorred by the media, that is the real story right there. Unfortunately, we need more documentation.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage), October 11, 1999.

Hi Dancr,

Linda has been a regular contributor to the forum for awhile. I hope someone can find a way to verify this. Maybe a phone call to the state? Sure seems like the media would be interested in picking this one up.

-- (, October 11, 1999.

Thanks Linda.

Linda's a "regular" and I trust implicitly what she says is her experience of the situation. Wonder if it will hit the local KY newz?

(Paging Linkmeister!)


-- Diane J. Squire (, October 11, 1999.

Good! Food stamps and the IRS, let them crash first.

-- Bill (, October 11, 1999.


I hope that you never have to depend on food stamps for any reason.

-- (, October 11, 1999.

This is a wakeup call for all food stamp recipients. They need to make other arrangements AKA contingency plans. Get in touch with nonwelfare family and friends. Contact churches and other charity organizations to find out if they have Y2K plans for the community. Call FEMA and Red Cross to find out where the "warming," shelters will be located. Keep on good terms with your neighbors and get together with them to plan for alternative means of survival. Organize with other welfare/economically challenged people and stage a protest on your County steps. Make sure you have TV and local newspaper media available to get your point across. Demand more money, sevices and more recognitition for your situation. You deserve to have everything that is coming to you! Free housing, medical care, dental care, food, utilities, school lunches for your children, and other freebies in the offering. All these services are there to seve you, free of charge, take advtange of it, you deserve it.

-- Charity (Chaity@charityyy.xcom), October 12, 1999.

Was at Kroger yesterday, sign on door saying their EBT system is down too. Sweetie said he was at the other Kroger on Friday and they had a sign up as well. I checked AP national news and couldn't find anything and it's not in the Raleigh newspaper either.

-- Old Git (, October 12, 1999.

Electronic Benefits Transfer A disaster in the making

The entire U.S. retail industry may be on the brink of a systems disaster of monumental proportions because it does not have a clue to what electronic benefits transfer (EBT) is, or the profound impact that it will probably have. This became dramatically clear at the Retail Systems 96 conference last June. Only 30 people attended an EBT briefing and panel discussion, and most of them were technology vendors, not retailers. For those who werent at the briefing, here are some points made by the panel:

 EBT is defined as the use of new processes and technologies to deliver a variety of government-funded benefits.

Although this program will start with food stamps, it will be expanded to include several other major governmental benefit programs, including, but not limited to, veterans benefit payments, social security payments and aid-to-dependent-children grants.

It is estimated that 30 million households will receive these payments.

Staggering investments: All knowledgeable observers agree that not only will every U.S. retailer be affected, but depending on the technologies chosen, retail technology investments could be staggering. Furthermore, the closer one looks at the current process for implementing EBT, the worse the story gets for retailing.

For example, most states have formed regional coalitions to pool resources, solicit consulting bids, jointly evaluate alternatives and agree to common technology and implementation schemesgenerally a good approach because it at least limits the total number of variations. Yet, Kansas, which lies in the center of one of these coalitions, pulled out of it to pursue its own solution.

And while some states are just getting started, others (most notably Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Minnesota, Texas and South Carolina) already have major implementations underway. The implication should be immediately clear to retailers: They will either need to install equipment that is functional for one state, or that is so flexible as to accommodate the various requirements of all, or at least the surrounding, states.

From the lack of retailer involvement, it is clear that few have thought through EBTs implications. For example, what happens when these 30 million households no longer receive government checks but rather have access to these funds only through electronic means? The answer is likely to be quite simple: If a retailer is not ready to handle these electronic transactions, customers will seek out a retailer who is.

Unfortunately, it may already be too late for retailing to take its rightful place in the decision-making process surrounding EBT. But it is certainly not too late to mount a serious effort to mitigate the negative effect that these efforts will create if left unchallenged. Once again, it may be up to systems professionals to bring this to the attention of their managements. If they dont, it probably wont get done, and all but a very few retailers will suffer. RT

David M. Carlson, Ph.D., a former CIO of Kmart, is now principal of Customer Focused Technology, a consulting firm based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

-- Old Git (, October 12, 1999.

You are right Linda A., you will never see it on the news because it isn't. I live in Az who went to the EBT system for Food Stamps initally, in spring of '98. Because most states find it prohibitively expensive to administer the technology themselves (they historically pay IT folks far less than the private sector marketplace), the state outsources it to the lowest bidder as required by this state's law. This gives them 2 benefits: they can say they saved the taxpayer money and when it doesn't work, they can say: "Talk to the vendor" and thus escape dealing with it until the vendor's contract expires. It's a win-win for the state. Any questions?

-- Big D (, October 12, 1999.

How about as contingency plan, these bums get a job, or die.

-- goldbug (, October 12, 1999.

"Economically challanged"? That's a great one! How about "Lazy SOB's" I can't stand the sight of the near do wells using food stamps at the grocery store. Mc Donalds (and others) are ALWAYS hiring. At this point in time there is no reason an able body adult isn't working other than they "just don't want to". Travel outside this fucked up country to see how reality is. Don't want to work = death by starvation. I would rather have a million beggers on the streets then have a food stamp program. Now they have fucking credit cards for the grocery store, so it looks like they are actually paying for there steaks, frozen dinners, ice cream treats, etc... If you are going to give people food with my tax money, limit their choices to rice, beans, oatmeal, milk, etc.. the basic staples. I actually saw some deadbeat buying little containers of Ben and Jerrys at the Safeway with food stamps. I almost said something, but why bother. The world will change dramaticly in less than 80 days, and yes, I hope the government teat dries up for good!

-- Bill (, October 12, 1999.

Listen, you trolls--when my husband took off and left me and our young son to fend for ourselves, I had to take food stamps for six months--and I was working at the time. I got a second job at night, eventually, but by then I had been forced to sell the house and most of the furniture. I got $90/month in stamps for the two of us, a total of $540 for the six months. I split the money between subsistence food and good food, so that we could at least have a luxury meal now and then. Maybe the Ben and Jerry's person was doing the same thing.

Many food stamp recipients are the working poor and either did, do or will pay their fair share in taxes. (In my case, I've more than made up for the "hand-out" I got.) There's enough humiliation built into the experience without you unthinking trolls and your unfunny sense of humor adding to it.

-- Old Git (, October 12, 1999.

I worked a part-time job in a large supermarket bakery while I was between jobs 6 years ago as a cake decorator. My specialty is/was wedding and other 'special occasion' cakes. I was absolutely sickened by the number of these very elaborate/very expensive cakes that were ordered that were paid for with food stamps. All legal.

Wasn't uncommon for someone to order a $120.00 cake and pay for it with food stamps. Happened at least once every weekend.

I got so sickened by this that I found something else to do before my new job started. Just didn't think I'd be able to 'hold my tongue' for long...

-- Wilferd (, October 12, 1999.

Assisting the helpless is one thing, which I agree with. Standing in line behind very healthy looking people paying for baskets of food on WIC, Food Stamps etc. is annoying. Some of these people had two baskets of stuff while I was working to support an ex and two kids and had to work on Saturday in order to buy what I needed.

Help the needy, being out of work can be a temporary need, but Down With Socialism.

-- Mark Hillyard (, October 12, 1999.

Wilferd, that was food stamp fraud and should have been reported. One place to report fraud is:

-- Old Git (, October 12, 1999.

Why is that fraud? Where does it say on food stamps you can't buy cake or Ben and Jerry's ice cream. At least the WIC program has limits. I see "WIC Item" markers on staples and other basic food group foods. Lets do the same for food stamps or "assistance cards". Limit it the food to basic foods. Screw your luxury meals, you were on wealfare, like it or not, and the money came from those of us paying taxes at that time. You chose to have a child with a deadbeat dad, I didn't make that choice, but I end up paying for others bad choices everyday. I have two kids myself and work hard to support them. When we have luxury meals, they are paid with the 70% the government lets me keep. I have never had the opportunity to afford a $120. cake, wish I could. Let them eat cake!

-- Bill (, October 12, 1999.

Turn it around. As far as Y2K is concerned, this sort of thing is GOOD news. A MAJOR SYSTEM FAILURE. NOTE THAT! THIS ISN"T SOME TINY THING. It affects ALL grocery stores, MOST convienence stores, a LOT of gas pumping outlets and so forth. DID YOU SEE A CASCADE FAILURE?


Get the point? The domino/cascade software failure theory is now PROVEN to be false to fact!

-- Paul Davis (, October 12, 1999.

"Get the point? The domino/cascade software failure theory is now PROVEN to be false to fact!"

Paul, you can always ask Chuck or Diane to expunge this if you don't want it on your permanent record. I wouldn't.

-- lisa (, October 12, 1999.

Bill, my thread was written tongue-in-cheek, I agree with you 100%! Yeh, I like that phrase "economically challenged." I see so much abuse of welfare it isn't funny! Food stamps sold for 1/2 value so drugs can be purchased. One guy goes in and buys 1 can of store brand cola with his food stamp. He does this over and over again until he get's enough money back to buy cigarettes. I was behind 3 people all paying with food stamps. Did a inventory of their shopping carts--Kraft macaroni and cheese, Top Ramen, Dryers ice cream, corn dogs, Sugar Smacks, frozen pizzas, croissants from bakery, corn and potato chips, hot dogs. There's a difference from being on welfare in a time of need and then getting off of it. Some people don't because there's no incentive to work for food. Just ask a grocery clerk checker who stands on their feet all day watching this stuff go on how they feel about food stamps.

-- Charity (charity@charityy.xcom), October 12, 1999.

Paul are an extreme imbecile. The remnants of a used hanky. What an unthinking moron, MORON.

One isolated 'event' occuring in an otherwise functioning environment CANNOT be compared to multiple, simultaneous, WORLD-WIDE errors and failures, you puffed up idiot. This is the second time in a week that I have had to point that out (Engineer was the other intellectually starved there a pattern forming here?)

As to our downtrodden citizens, there are many who recieve assistance legitamately. Unfortunately, the majority screw the few. I worked admissions in a hospital for a couple of years and was angered by those on Medicaid who would bring children in with 'sniffles' to see the emergency room Doc. I can't tell you how disturbing it is to sit in a chair all night keeping vigil over a child with a high fever, frantically conducting triage and minute by minute assessments, in an attempt to decide how you could pay for an emergency room visit due to a deductible on your *criminally exorbitant* insurance. I personally saw women coming in with the 'onset' of yeast infections. This had a tendency to compound over time and result in a "F**K you" attitude.

Entire systems are BROKEN *already*. Justice, Welfare, Political, Tax, Insurance, Educational, Agricultural, Medical,.......the list is ENDLESS!

-- Will continue (, October 12, 1999.

So... any "newz" to report on the electronic transfers causing delays and snaffoos?

(Sheesh guys!)


-- Diane J. Squire (, October 12, 1999.

Will, tell you what. Come around in a few months and I'll have a nice helping of CROW all ready for you. You'll need it.

Unless, of course, you go bats on me, and point to every tiny failure as proof that Y2K just killed us all, and we are just too stupid to know we are dead.

In which case I don't want you anywhere around me.

-- Paul Davis (, October 12, 1999.

I have heard and read nothing about this. Went to Kroger this A.M. asked my favorite checkers about this and all new nothing about it. And they all worked through the weekend.

Man from Uncle have you seen George or Rosemary lately?

I'm in Louisville. Maybe it is possible Louisville is an Island or something or maybe Kroger store were'nt having trouble communicating with the states computers?

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), October 12, 1999.

PD..............I wouldn't want to be on the same Continent with you (under ANY circumstances) even if you were the absolute last *pulsating* male on the planet. Civilization would be forced to end. At least I'd die happy with my dignity intact.

I wish you had chosen to respond to my post with some semblance of thought pattern. Too much to ask for, once your ENORMOUS ego becomes involved.

-- Will continue (, October 12, 1999.

Old Git, the bakery items were 100% 'legitimate' to purchase with food stamps -- I know this, because I just about got myself fired over the whole deal. I kept questioning the bakery manager, then the store manager, then the head of the grocery itself (VERY well known here in KC) -- all with the same answer: yes, that *is* an allowable purchase. I even contacted the food stamp office and was told the same.

Now -- PLEASE -- don't get me wrong....I am not condemning anyone for using food stamps, if there is 'genuine' need, and if the vouchers/card is used for the intended purpose -- to alleviate hunger.

I routinely shop at Aldi's, and Sav-A-Lot (discount, bare bones 'staples' stores) and when I shop, I do see people using their Vision card to pay for their groceries. I have no problem with that, in the least. Most of the folks I see at those stores seem to be trying to get the most value out of these benefits.

It's the "in-your-face", yet LEGAL manipulation of the system that I abhor.

-- Wilferd (, October 12, 1999.

Davis, whoever you are,

Our payments to corporations as boondoggles, price supports, tax deferrements (sports franchises for god sake), outright loans in response to their "job" blackmail of our municipalities is the appalling thing and is huge, bigger than these minor, tiny, isolated incidents that you describe.

The big corporation and the giant government are playing us against each other.


-- Peter Starr (, October 12, 1999.

Just got back from Winn Dixie (needed some bread) and they did have problems over the weekend but all is well now.

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), October 12, 1999.

Pete Starr - darned if I can see what the relationship is between what I posted about cascade failures and what you posted. If someone figures it out, clue me in.

Will - what do you expect? You start all your posts to me with something like: Paul are an extreme imbecile. The remnants of a used hanky. What an unthinking moron, MORON.

You want to be treated like a lady, act like a lady. You want a reasonable answer to a post, make a reasonable sounding post. What goes around, comes around.

And you wouldn't expect ANY cascade failures from a software glitch that took down parts of THOUSANDS of businesses? Plus a chunk of the bank accepting the cards, plus (had to take out) some of the Commonwealth of KY accounting system? Either you figure it all is gonna drop at once, in which case there isn't any point in quibbleing about cascade failures, since something has to be running to be affected, or you have some idea you aren't putting accross.

-- Paul Davis (, October 12, 1999.

Wilferd, I'm sorry nobody wanted to follow up on your report. Anybody who can spare $120 from their monthly alotment to pay for a fancy cake is getting income from somewhere else. I guess nobody wnated to go to the trouble. However, IF (and it's a big if) the EBT system can be made to work, then the itemized register receipts will provide ready evidence to go after someone.

From what I understand, various stores in a region contract with various vendors to process their EBT transactions. In the Durham Krogers' case the vendor is a bank. I don't know any more about how the system works (I know, not very well!) and I don't know that it was a Y2K problem.

-- Old Git (, October 12, 1999.

If it weren't for food stamps and WIC programs, Krogers and the whole lot of them would be losing money! Why do you think Top Ramen, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and other low cost items are so inexpensive and always on sale? My niece was a druggie and that's what she fed her kids everyday. She sold part of her food stamps to get money for her drugs. A trajedy all around because Grandma took care of the kids but died last year of cancer. A new generation of the same.

-- tis fact (tisfact@tisfacfttt.xcom), October 12, 1999.

"Isn't that special" in Churchlady voice. This whole food stamp, WIC, etc... debate could be ended by giving away a few basic foods for free to everyone regardless of income. Make rice, beans, powdered milk, government cheese, oatmeal, pasta and a couple of other basics free to each and every person. Just get your free food card, go to the store or food bank to withdraw your weekly alotment. Have 7 kids no problem, they each get free food, too. No value to sell for drugs, booze, cigs, etc.., anyone can go get some for free. Cost less than the current program. Ends all talk of starvation in this country. Will the food companies and grocery stores advocate this type of program? Hell no. They make big money selling premium products to those whom need a "luxury meal" every once and awhile.

-- Bill (, October 13, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ