Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wos: Hungry North Carolinians "in a very good place"

The NC FAST computer system, which was brought on line this summer to administer North Carolina's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), has suffered one catastrophic problem after another delaying food assistance for tens of thousands of vulnerable households and frustrating caseworkers who try to help those households.

WRAL reports that despite assurances from DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and some of her highly-paid but thinly-vetted spokespeople that the problems were resolved, tremendous problems remain.

In November, Secretary Wos told WRAL that the NC FAST system was "in a very good place right now."

However, one month later, an official from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal agency that funds SNAP, threatened to suspend the state's administrative funding for the program, writing
The data  provided by DHHS indicates that more than 20,000 households continue to experience significant delays with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications and recertifications. Of these households, over 6,000 have been waiting for more than three months to receive benefits. The delays are completely unacceptable and a serious failure on the part of North Carolina.
Delays of over three months for food assistance for more than 6,000 of NC's neediest families are unconscionable.

Yet that's the way that things roll in Raleigh these days where the McCronies exact the Tea Party's vengeance on the poor.

Earned Income Tax Credit? Gone.

Federally-funded extended unemployment insurance benefits? Forfeited when the state cut its own UI program.

Federally-funded Medicaid benefits for low-income adults? Don't need it.

SNAP? Fill out an application and Secretary Wos will get back to you in three months, if you're lucky.