Could outsourcing food stamps cause problems

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Could outsourcing food stamp cards cause problems for low-income families?

A Kansas woman says it took her several weeks before her family could get help. She asked KAKE News to investigate the process of getting a card.

Theresa Freed, directors of communications, of the Kansas Department for Children and Families said the state changed the program in late June.

Before then, people could get a card created as fast a one day. Now, the cards are sent to an EBT contractor, FIS. The facility makes cards for more than 14,500 card programs across the United States. It can take anywhere from three to five days after approval, but the card can be expedited.

The new process can save the State of Kansas money and prevent fraud.

"It really is a way for us to cut down on people, say for example, who left the DCS service center and wanted to sell their card right away to someone out on the street," Freed said. "It obviously cuts down on that from happening."

Katelin Boyd noticed the change this December, when she went to get food stamps to support her baby, Savannah, who is now six months old.

"It's not as convenient, but for me I was able to wait but not everyone else can." Boyd said. "It would have helped me, cause I use it mostly to buy formula for her and all of her food cause I feel that's more important. It would have helped a little bit more, but I ended up finding other ways to get formula for her until then."

Boyd said she is frustrated by the idea that other people can take advantage of the system. She wishes that other families in need didn't have to pay the price for it.

To help those in need of immediate assistance, Freed said the state can help. They will refer families to local resources, like food pantries and charities.

However, Boyd said those programs don't always work. As a single mom who works two jobs, she said it's tough for others like her to find time to get to those resources.

"Yes, there are food pantries that are open, but you have to go to them at a certain day at a certain time," Boyd said. "Sometimes you're on a waiting list and if you need food right now and you have to be on a waiting list, it doesn't quite help you."


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