A WRAL News review of thousands of pages of emails and other public records shows that for more than a month starting July 15, counties across the state struggled with a buggy, sluggish system that frequently froze up and prevented workers from keying in cases. By the time the NC FAST team identified the problem as a simple browser compatibility issue in late August, almost 70,000 food stamp customers statewide – many of them families with children – were waiting on overdue benefits, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That's 8.5 percent of the number of clients the state currently serves every month.
"July 15 was a date all of us will remember well," said Tammy Schrenker, president of the N.C. Association of County Directors of Social Services. "Many of us, I dare say all of us, experienced problems with processing food and nutrition services."