An NBC Affliate in Charlotte, North Carolina recently came to the aid of a single mother after she found out her food stamp benefits were being cut from $500 to $16.
Sara Grier, is a single mother of 4 children, and works an $11 dollar an hour job, 30 hours a week. The food stamp benefits she receives supplement her $17,000 a year income, so when she found out her benefits were being cut to $16 a month, she didn’t know what to think.
“At this point I don’t know what were going to do,” she says after receiving a notice that she will only get $16 a month in food stamps from now on. She was receiving more than $500.
Although Grier was aware national cuts were coming to the food stamp program, she didn’t realize how drastic it would affect her.
“I never thought that it would hit my home,” she says.
“Since this happened the amount of food we get has gone down, but we still get fed — and I’m happy for that.”
After NBC Charlotte interviewed Grier, earlier this month, they searched for answers. When the station contacted the state, they referred them to Mecklenburg County.
We started asking questions and got Grier’s DSS counselor to finally call her back. “She told me this was a mistake. There was a glitch in the system,” Grier says.
That’s right, Rodney Adams, the Economic Division Director for Mecklenburg County’s DSS told NBC Charlotte– there was a mistake with the food stamp program.
“There have been several different types of glitches with the NC FAST system since the inception,” he told us by phone. He says there have been problems for several months now.
Not only has Grier received multiple incorrect letters from DSS but she didn’t get any food stamps at all in the month of October.
“I never let them go to bed hungry, but I sure did a couple of nights,” she admitted. She finally got that payment this week – after we got involved.
“So I’m still confused as to what’s going on, but I do know that now I can feed the kids.”
Adams said, “Outside of you contacting us, Michelle, we didn’t know that Ms. Grier had a problem with her case. Do you have any idea if there are more people out there like her? In terms of receiving errant notices? Some may receive errant notices, yes, and this is the system glitch that the state is aware of.”
I’m sure Grier will be forever thankfully to NBC Charlotte.