Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: ‘Like a Tornado Had Came Through’

Shelves at Walmart stores in Louisiana were cleared in a shopping frenzy over the weekend after a glitch in the Electronic Benefits Transfer system allowed government food stamp recipients to make purchases without spending limits.
For two hours Saturday night, customers rang up overflowing cartloads of food at stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., after cashiers allowed them to use their EBT cards anyway despite not showing limits, KSLA-TV reported.
“It was worse than any Black Friday,” Springhill police Chief Will Lynd told KSLA.
Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: Like a Tornado Had Came Through
Government food assistance recipients poured into Walmart stores in Louisiana after a system glitch allowed them to make purchases without spending limits. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
Police were called in to help manage the chaos, but no arrests were made and no one was unruly, Lynd said. Mansfield police confirmed officers were called in for crowd control but no arrests were made there, either.
After the system came back online, customers abandoned their carts and left the store, leaving a huge mess behind.
“It was like a tornado had came through,” O.J Evans, who took cell phone video of the aftermath at the Mansfield Walmart, told KSLA.
The glitch occurred when the EBT system went down in several states during a routine backup test, KSLA reported. The system came back up Saturday night, but was apparently not working properly everywhere.
Food Stamp Glitch Leaves Walmart Shelves Bare: Like a Tornado Had Came Through
A Walmart customer captured the aftermath following a glitch in the EBT system. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
A Walmart spokeswoman told KSLA the company was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”
“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told the station.
Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia said purchases made without appropriate funds was the same thing as stealing.
“That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it,” Stan Garcia said.
Whaling declined to specify whether Walmart would take the financial hit on food purchased without card limits or on the perishable food left behind.
A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services said they were aware of the situation and investigating any potential fraud.

Anyone expecting to rush to the nearest store to stock up as a disaster unfolds should pay attention to this article. There’s no last minute trip to the grocery plan. It’s not safe and you wont find much anyway.

Take a look at what’s happening in Venezuela right now with food shortages:
Just a few weeks ago young woman in Venezuela kicked her own 18 year-old pregnant sister in the belly, killing her baby, after arguing over a 1kg. pack of flour.
Just a few days before that, a man was killed in Venezuela for trying to jump queue in a line of people waiting to buy food. People naturally behave the way the article above explains. The majority of people will steal if they think they can get away with it. We’ve gotten to the point where most don’t consider it a morally reprehensible thing to do anymore. 

People will steal when they feel they can get away with it, and in a similar way they will have no remorse in killing when they even just start to feel hungry. Instinct kicks in, and combined with the almost complete lack of moral standards we have in society these days, that same mass that ravages a Walmart at the first opportunity will crack your skull after skipping just one meal. We have seen such a thing happen after disasters in different countries, and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela is a good example of what to expect from most western nations when things heat up just a bit. 

People, we all know the essentials. Food and water first, fuel and gear after that as well as some emergency cash at hand. You have to understand the importance of having these stocked up and stored before the actual crisis or disaster takes place. Knowledge sure is important, but no amount of knowledge will materialize in front of you the supplies you failed to stock up ahead of time.


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct, but do not make the mistake of believing that these people needed a crisis to act like this. These are the same people who would trample others and shoot others in the parking lot over a $200 pair of Nikes. You are not talking about average normal people who are reacting to a crisis. The reason this understanding has value in the context being discussed is this; In some cities because of the people who live there yu life is at risk every weekend night, every celebration, every national event and certainly every crisis simply because of who these people are. Failing to understand that can get you killed.

Wabano said...

About moving to a civilized country? Sure there are now few of them and they are not in South America, Europe, Africa, USA, russia or china...About Japan, New Zealand and Canada...Here you can leave your door unlocked, nobody will break in, there are few cops rarely seen(because they are NOT needed!)
Come on over and let the socialists elsewhere choke on their own poison!

Anonymous said...

I live in one of the states that had this problem. I didn't hear about it til late in the day. I just moved, so I don't have much food on hand. When I saw the info I went to the store to buy a few things in case there was a problem. There were signs in the windows like on the news 'Not accepting EBT'. The store I went to was actually deserted. I don't know if the rush had already come and gone before I got there.

Question- if you don't have any money when something like this comes up, do you think it would be a good idea to put it on the credit card? I only bought what I could afford with cash. Could have bought much more with the card.

Sabinal said...

I've read your site before and am now making it regular. Although I doubt the extremes will happen here, never say never

Joseph said...

You don't have time to prepare for a disaster. By the time it happens (or is about to happen) you have run out of time to run to the store, buy mail order ammo, or run to the petrol station...you are going to have to make it on what you have on hand.

Anonymous said...

I have had advice to try to have a month worth of cash on hand, in case of time like these. Save you're change put it in a coin jar don't touch it. We all know despite what we are being told it is a matter of time before we face the consequences of the reckless spending etc... My advice is buy an extra can of veggies or whatever you will eat when you go shopping. Do what you can afford. Also buy an extra jar of peanut butter It can sustain you for a time if you have nothing else. Also you can get item's for trade such as honey, molasses, and sugar etc. It will be hard when these things happen, but we will make it.