Families on assistance program are still waiting for food stamps
Dozens of families are being forced to find food because their food stamps are being delayed by DSS.
COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The food stamp frenzy continues in New Hanover County as
dozens of families continue to wait for stamps.
According to New Hanover County's Department
of Social Services, a new distribution system has left a lot of people without
"It's been really tough for us, but
we've made it," said Jeremy Malepeai."We've been through worse."
Jeremy and his dad, David Rodgers, are both on
stamps and have been without them for about three weeks.
"People are suffering because of this,"
Rodgers is not only upset that they haven't
received their stamps, but he's also upset about the way DSS officials are
allegedly handling the situation.
Rodgers said officials told him the only
option he had to get some food on the table was to go to a food bank. He also said that it is near impossible to get someone on the phone and when he does they tell him they will check on things but never do.
DSS told WECT.com that the delay is being caused by the state's new
electronic system, which is still being implemented.
They've experienced a number of problems with getting all the paperwork
up to date on the new system, according to DSS Asst. Director of Economic
Services Chris McNamee.
McNamee also told WECT.com that employees
have been working weekends and overtime to help work out all of the problems
with the new system. She said the new system was put into place back in
Rodgers said he wants to see the new system
work because it is not only affecting his family but many others as well.
Rodgers is currently on disability and
receives a limited monthly stipend. He said he's been forced to dip into those
"It's been tough," he said. "My wallet's
his son are patiently waiting for food and answers at this point.
DSS officials said they have emergency food
stamps for some families. However, those stamps are issued through the very
system that isn't working in the county.
Officials could not tell WECT.com a time of when everything should be up
and running for those on the assistance program.
McNamee said if a family is in dire need of food, they should come by
the DSS office for help.