Letter: Help needed for SNAP, NCFAST woes
To the editor:
Delays in providing food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) to eligible families have created hardship for some families across North Carolina and in Vance County. A new automated system, N.C. Families Accessing Services through Technology, has created serious delays in families receiving food stamps.
The state is working to correct the problem; however, families cannot wait weeks for the NCFAST system to work for them. The size of the problem cannot be quantified because the same system causing delays in SNAP benefits and miscalculation of benefits is the same system we must rely on to identify the extent of the problem.
Durham County has been able to provide vouchers to local food stores for families experiencing delays. Wake County and the United Way are providing $50,000 in emergency funding to replenish food in food pantries. Low wealth counties, like Vance, would benefit greatly if the state could assist in a similar fashion.
Additionally, the reduction in unemployment benefits and the high unemployment rate in Vance County add to the challenges our families are facing.
We ask that churches, civic organizations, businesses, schools and individuals in the Vance County community provide donations of food to LifeLine Outreach, Area Christians Together in Service, the Salvation Army and churches with food pantries. Cash contributions may be made to organizations like LifeLine Outreach who can purchase in bulk at significantly reduced rates from the food bank for distribution in our community.
Please contact these agencies directly with your offer of help.
Thank you, Vance County, for your consideration.
The letter-writers are involved, respectively, with the Vance County Board of Social Services, ACTS and LifeLine Outreach.