Iowa implements workaround for food stamp outage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials have implemented an emergency plan of issuing vouchers to low-income residents after computer problems caused electronic payments for food stamps to fail across the country.

The Iowa Department of Human Services says it already had a contingency plan in place for such emergencies.

Iowans who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and find that their electronic benefit card isn’t working can fill out a voucher and receive $50 daily in food assistance. DHS says the contingency plan has no financial impact to grocers.

Wendy Rickman, who administers DHS’ food stamp program, says the plan makes certain that people have access to food each day.

DHS says problems were resolved Saturday night and people can again electronically access benefits. More than 400,000 Iowans receive food assistance each month.

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