PEMBROKE, Ga. (WSAV) – As Thanksgiving gets closer local area residents say they have been having issues receiving their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, benefits.
Bryan County resident 70-year-old Stanley Hewitt has been waiting for weeks to get his food stamps.
“I called my case worker all last week, two or three times,” Hewitt said. “She said leave a name and number and social security number and she’d get back with me in 48 hours and I didn’t hear anything from her. I called her supervisor and her voicemail’s full; you can’t even leave her a message.”
Although he plans to go to his sister’s home for Thanksgiving, he says not receiving his food stamps has caused hardship.
“What little bit of money I have, I have spent that for groceries and you don’t get much groceries. You know how the price of groceries is.”
Hewitt says he stopped by the Bryan County Division of Family and Children’s Services this morning a representative took his information and as of this afternoon, he still has not heard back.
Single mom of 4, Shianna Waters says she’s been having issues with her local office assisting her and her family with Medicaid and food stamps from the Liberty County Division of Family and Children’s Services.
“I’ll go up there and I’ll tell them that something’s wrong. One day they’re in the office but they won’t open the door and they’ll tell us that we have to go through the website. The website isn’t working, so nobody can get assistance if they can’t go through this website. They’re basically turning everybody around at the door and telling them to use the website.”, said Waters.
Like Hewitt, Waters was also unable to reach her case worker.
“My case worker’s number was disconnected so I couldn’t even get in touch with her. I was actually very worried and concerned. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get groceries for my kids, turkey and stuff like that and I did not have any food in my house at the moment.”
She continued, “We went without food for weeks and I was trying to scrounge up change and get help from family members so that way they can help get food into my house.”
WSAV News 3 reached out to the Bryan County Division of Family and Children’s Services to find out what could be the reason for the delay in getting food stamps this month and Administrator for Region 12 Kimberly Sanders said, “We will get your information and we will send it to our communications department and they will get back in contact with you.”
When asked what those who are experiencing a delay in receiving their food stamps, Sanders said, “They can call their local office.”
SNAP is an anti-hunger program, and its benefits provide any eligible citizen with monthly funds to buy groceries. Anyone may apply to the program, which helps households who have limited income and resources. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1 in 7 Georgia residents used SNAP.
For more information about SNAP or to make a complaint regarding food stamps, click here.
WSAV will continue to add updates to this story.