GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina may have new troubles meeting a deadline from federal regulators demanding that backlogged food stamp applications be cleared.
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos told a General Assembly oversight committee Wednesday social service offices had appeared on track to resolve the roughly 500 applications by next Monday. But now she's worried news of additional pending applications in Guilford County could scuttle that goal.
Wos says the Guilford applications hadn't been entered into the state's computer system for determining eligibility for government services. She didn't immediately have a number on the additional household applications.
It's been affecting a lot of families, like the Reeders, of Greensboro. They say they've been waiting 6 months for food stamps.
Michael and Jayna say they're doing what they can to put food on the table for their 4-year-old son, Jacob. "We've really been struggling," said Jayna. "Pinch pennies, do what we have to do, that's what we have to do. It just puts everybody at a standstill when it comes to try to provide for your family and provide food and a house. It's really rough."
Thursday afternoon Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp, who sits on the Guilford County Dept of Social Services Board, told WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower that an investigation has been launched to why the county has such a backlog.
Greg Bush with Guilford County DSS gave this break down of how they're trying to fix the problem:
Staff are working overtime. The NC Fast system is available from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. through Monday, March 31. On Saturday 3/29 NC Fast goes down at 12 pm and will be unavailable on Sunday. March 30.
Additional staff has been brought in to help. There are 22 State Staff and 47 internal staff have been re-allocated; total of 69
The state met a deadline last month from the U.S. Agriculture Department to handle most pending applications or potentially lose funds to administer the program. Now USDA wants the remaining applications resolved.