Michigan Department of Human Services)
Detroit— Xerox Corp. says that access to food stamp systems has been restored in 17 states that were affected by a temporary outage.
People in Ohio, Michigan and Texas were unable to use food stamp debit-style cards for hours on Saturday. Xerox said a routine test of backup systems resulted in a temporary system failure.
Xerox Spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email Saturday night that it took time to restore the system and make sure it was fully functional.
The electronic benefits system experienced a temporary shutdown during a routine test of Xerox back-up systems, Wasmer said Saturday evening.
U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage is not related to the government shutdown.
The problem has resulted in empty stores throughout Detroit on Saturday.
“The system just quit working (at about noon),” said Sunny Patel, manager at Tomboy Market in the Cass Corridor. “I called and they said the system is down everywhere. They said they’re working to fix it, although they didn’t give us a time. This happens a few times a year, but they usually fix it quicker. It’s taking a long time today.
“The majority of our customers use (the system), so there’s nobody here,” Patel said.
Metro Foodland on Grand River near Southfield in northwest Detroit is also empty, store manager Charlonda Love said.
“In our neighborhood the majority of our customers use the Bridge Card, so we’ve been pretty much empty,” she said.
Associated Press contributed to this report.