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Guilford County DSS Hire 13 New Staff Members To Accommodate High Volume of Recipients

10:13 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC--  News 2 investigates the current food stamp situation in Guilford County after hearing of complaints from program recipients.

Three hundred eligible families weren't getting their food stamps after the Guilford County Department of Social Services switched to a new software system. Back then, officials told us it'd take a few months to get the kinks out of the system.

Well, we took calls from two women who said they weren't getting their food stamps, and their Thanksgiving dinners were in jeopardy.

News 2's Liz Crawford talked to Christine Battle of High Point and Brittany Jenkins of Greensboro. Both women said they did not get their food stamps on time this month.

Last month, the manager with the Department of Social Services said the food stamp situation in Guilford County was improving.

Read here: Guilford County Food Stamp Problems Improving

On Monday, News 2 talked to Battle and Jenkins who need food for their children. They also want to be able to put food on their table for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Battle said, "Oh my god, if it wasn't two days before Thanksgiving, I would probably still be upset but not as much so. I don't know what I'm going to do."

She showed News 2 her paperwork. She got all of it in by the Oct. 15 deadline. She was supposed to get her food stamps on Nov. 17.

Battle has three children and is enrolled in school fulltime. She said she waited in line for 30 minutes at the High Point office Monday morning.

Jenkins, another mom, waited in line at the Greensboro office. Like Battle, she left Monday morning without food stamps or a resolution.

Jenkins was hoping someone would have some kind of answer for her.

"Either a voucher or emergency food stamps, anything to at least say this is something to hold you off until we get it completed. They just say we'll call you next 2 to 3 days," said Jenkins.

Guilford County DSS did not have anyone available for an interview Monday; however, the department's program manager, Goioa Garrett, told News 2 that Christine Battle will get her food stamps on Tuesday. Due to an increase in volume, inadequate staffing prevented Battle from getting her food stamps on time.

In September, the Guilford County food stamps program served 45,173 households. That's a 4.05% increase from the year before. That's an $11.9-million in benefits.

Garrett also said she's not aware of any remaining food stamp issues that are linked to the new software that caused problems over the summer.

DSS just hired 13 new staff members to specifically staff the food stamp program. Garrett said they are expected to be fully trained within the next week.

WFMY News 2

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