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Mounting SNAP benefits frustrations include scams, outages

Food Stamps
Posted at 10:18 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 23:18:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Frustrations continue to mount over a program meant to help get healthy food to people who can't afford it.

On top of a nationwide outage of the system that administers food stamps, some people in the SNAP benefits program were scammed.

It's been nearly a month since Phoenix Hyde says was scammed out of her SNAP benefits.

"They told me my food stamps were used in Lakewater, Florida, at a Publix, and I can't be at two places at once so I knew something was wrong," Hyde says.

A brief nationwide SNAP benefit outage Sunday is just the latest problem to plague the EBT card and SNAP benefit programs that the Tennessee Department of Human Services administers.

"It's rough; I still have children I have to feed," Hyde said. "The grace of God keeps us pushing forward."

The state said again Monday that it's aware of a sudden increase in reports of EBT card fraud as a result of card skimming.

It's not confirmed whether a card skimmer was the cause of the fraud Hyde reported, but she says hasn't seen any of the money she was scammed out of put back in her account.

"It makes me feel disappointed because I think the state is doing everything to build homes and everything else, but when it comes to low-income people like us, they don't work hard enough; that's the problem. We get unnoticed; we get overlooked," Hyde said.

The state says they're working with federal partners and law enforcement authorities to see whether or not the state is allowed to reissue stolen benefits.