Walmart Food Stamps, EBT Glitch Empties Shelves

    October 14, 2013

If a temporary glitch incorrectly showed that there were no restrictions to your bank account, would you proceed to max out the card with unlimited merchandise? A similar situation involving the EBT system for food stamp benefits took place at the following two Walmart locations: Mansfield, Louisiana, and Springhill, Louisiana.

According to Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd, “I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts. It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town. There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated.”

Shoppers continued pounding store clerks with carts full of merchandise until Saturday at roughly 9 p.m. CT. At that time, a Walmart employee made an announcement over the intercom explaining that the complications derived from the EBT system had been resolved where the computers were able to show accurate balance amounts. Shopping carts loaded down with every imaginable food item were left vacant in the aisles.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd surmised that situation. “At that point in time, they knew the jig was up and they couldn’t purchase what they wanted to,” he said.

Shopper Stan Garcia said, “That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it.”

While the situation in Louisiana left many store clerks with an unprecedented amount of unnecessary work, employees at the Walmart in Philadelphia, Mississippi, became fearful when a small riot broke out according to the Clarion-Ledger. When the EBT cards were not working, many of these grocery shoppers left the store without paying for goods.

Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling talked with KSLA-TV about handling the situation, and choosing the best avenue to ensure safety for the customers.

“For the safety of our customers we did make a management decision to close the store. We’re looking into everything; looking at surveillance video and working with the local police,” Kayla Whaling said.

Seventeen states were affected by this EBT system glitch, and people were unable to purchase groceries as a result.

[Images Via YouTube]