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[Sad Times] Walmart Shelves Emptied in Food Stamp Shopping Spree

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by pugsly8422, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. pugsly8422

    pugsly8422 Contributing Member

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    Now when the time comes, and these people need food (think Thanksgiving and Christmas), they'll be crying because they're forced to pay it back. Just like a person that has the wrong amount of money deposited into their bank account and withdraws it. Oh, and how could they fit 8-10 carts of items into their vehicles? That's right, half of them are driving Escalades and $30k+ vehicles while taking advantage of a system most others pay for. They'd also better have quite a few refrigerators and freezers...oh wait, they probably do.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/n7cmmCYJ4eo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Link

    Louisiana officials are trying to decide what to do about a massive shopping spree by families on food stamps when a power outage lifted the caps on their spending cards.

    Police were called to Walmart locations in Mansfield, La., and Springhill, La., on Saturday as shoppers cleaned out store shelves.

    Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said some customers were pushing more food than any household could store in a refrigerator and freezer.

    "I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts," he said.

    Lynd said customers were "not unruly." There were no fights or arrests made, but the scene was still chaotic, he said.

    "It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town," Lynd said of Springhill, which is near the border with Arkansas. "There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated."

    He said one customer made about $700 in food purchases.

    Lynd said that around 9 p.m. CT on Saturday, a Walmart employee made an announcement on the intercom saying that the computer system had been restored and card limits had returned. At that time, customers left shopping carts full of food in store aisles.

    "At that point in time, they knew the jig was up and they couldn't purchase what they wanted to," Lynd said.

    In the Walmart store in Mansfield, about 80 miles south of Springhill, staff temporarily closed the store to new customers to prevent a fire hazard with the existing number of shoppers.

    Mansfield's chief of police Gary Hobbs said no arrests were made and there were no incidents besides customers "pushing and shoving." Hobbs said there were reports that customers were checking out with six to eight shopping carts, then returning later in the day to purchase more.

    Unlike Walmart, other grocery stores in town told customers they would not accept EBT cards until the card limits were evident again, Hobbs said.

    The Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, said the issue was not related to the government shutdown.

    The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services' spokesman Trey Williams said the agency is meeting today to discuss how to handle the issue.

    The shopping frenzy was triggered when the Electronic Benefits Transfer system went down because a back-up generator failed at 11 a.m. EST Saturday during a regularly-scheduled test, according to Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system and based in Norwalk, Conn.

    The outage allowed recipients to spend unlimited amounts of money because the spending limit was removed for their EBT cards.

    The EBT system was affected in 17 states, where individuals and households access programs like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other programs.

    "The loss of power triggered a preventative shutdown of the EBT system to protect its overall integrity," according to a statement from Xerox spokesman Kevin Lightfoot. "While the system was restored within 22 minutes, the network experienced connectivity issues until our technical staff were able to re-establish full access just before 10 p.m. EST."

    Lynd said the Springhill Walmart store manager called police on Saturday morning to ask for advice over crowd control. When he arrived, Lynd told the Walmart staff that they had the right to refuse service if they chose to, but Walmart's corporate office advised the store to allow customers to purchase what they wanted with the cards.

    A spokeswoman for Walmart, Kayla Whaling, said the frenzied shopping in Louisiana "was isolated and is not representative of the what our stores experienced across the country."

    Xerox said that it continues to "investigate the cause of the issue so we can take steps to ensure a similar interruption does not re-occur."

    A spokeswoman for Xerox, Jennifer Wasmer, said, "If there is an EBT system outage, there is an agreed and documented process for retailers to follow. The process includes a 'per cardholder, per day' spending limit that is set at a state level."

    In Louisiana, the limit is $50 per cardholder per day, she said.

    "The emergency process allows retailers to meet the critical food needs of cardholders even if the system is temporarily down," she said.

    When asked about reports that Walmart customers were spending hundreds of dollars more than their account limits, Wasmer said ABC News would have to speak to retailers.

    Walmart did not respond to a question about whether its Louisiana stores recognized a $50 limit.
     
  2. FishBulb913

    FishBulb913 Contributing Member

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    I missed the part in the article where it said they were all driving escalades?
     
  3. khanhdum

    khanhdum Member

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    pretty dark in there
     
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  4. M.G.

    M.G. Contributing Member

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    You just have to infer that since they're getting a lot of food that they're driving escalades. ;)
     
  5. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. sugrlndkid

    sugrlndkid Member

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    guess they most likely will be passing on the savings to the American Tax payer...
     
  7. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    This part seems important. Why didn't WalMart follow the law?

    A spokeswoman for Xerox, Jennifer Wasmer, said, "If there is an EBT system outage, there is an agreed and documented process for retailers to follow. The process includes a 'per cardholder, per day' spending limit that is set at a state level."

    In Louisiana, the limit is $50 per cardholder per day, she said.
     
    #7 CometsWin, Oct 14, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
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  8. The Hunted

    The Hunted Member

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    Poor Walmart.
     
  9. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Where are the pictures of the Escalades?
     
  10. Mr. Brightside

    Mr. Brightside Contributing Member

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    Not saying I agree with it, but reparations have to begin somewhere.
     
  11. OmegaSupreme

    OmegaSupreme Contributing Member

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    i missed those also. weren't they supposed to have lotion-dispensing steering wheels like on tosh? :confused:
     
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  12. vaioavan63

    vaioavan63 Contributing Member

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    I don't even shop at Wal-Mart anymore, can't stand the sound of screaming kids every where. I hope Target does'nt lower their prices anytime soon too keep the food stamp parasites out. I sure don't mind paying a few cents more.
     
  13. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    I demand pictures of Escalades before commenting on this story. How dare the OP denigrate the 'shoppers' in this story by insinuating that they own Escalades. We're talking about upstanding members of the community here.
     
  14. Kam

    Kam Contributing Member

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    Glad it happen to Walmart.
     
  15. pugsly8422

    pugsly8422 Contributing Member

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    I guess I wasn't clear enough, and I can see how it seems like I was saying these specific people were driving Escalades. That comment was based on personal experience and what I've seen with my own eyes multiple times. Being behind people in line, seeing them use EBT, then walking out behind them, only to see them driving expensive vehicles.
     
  16. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Wait - people were pushing out 7-8 carts and 'one customer paid as much as $700?'

    I can (unintentionally) fit $100 of food in half a cart, easy. What were they buying... watermelons?
     
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  17. FishBulb913

    FishBulb913 Contributing Member

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    How do you know they use EBT? Cashiers don't typically announce that.

    So let me get this straight, you see them use the card somehow, and then tell the cashier, "hurry up!! I have to see what those people are driving!" and then rush to the parking lot?
     
  18. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    I love me some Walmart and their competitive prices.
     
  19. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    Happened to them? They made it happen with full expectation of getting reimbursed from the government. Wal-Mart is disgusting. I would burn my money before I spent it there.

    The Waltons whine and complain about "entitilement" programs while at the same time running a business model that mooches off the same system. That family and that company can go to hell.
     
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  20. pugsly8422

    pugsly8422 Contributing Member

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    I knew some dumbass like you that just wants to bash would say something like this. You can't just accept an answer. You have to look like the smart guy by bashing others and making assumptions. Let's see....it's possible to stand behind someone, believe it or not, multiple feet away, and see them use a Lonestar card or tell the cashier debit/credit/EBT. I know, you're in too big a hurry to make assumptions and bash, like so many others on here, to think it through and realize this. Guess what?! It's also possible to see someone loading their vehicle, especially when they have a cart full to load and you have much less to check out with, from a distance. Open your eyes, you may notice this, just like you may notice that thinking before you talk/post could be advantageous. Just because you see this happen doesn't mean you're trying, and going out of your way, to see it. If you're not going to contribute to a thread, and only want to bash through assumptions, then don't post.
     
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