A Flaw in the State’s Grand Scheme

The state’s track record hasn’t been holding up well after Hurricane Sandy. First the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) required people needing information to look it up on their website even though power outages made accessing websites rather difficult. That glaring oversight wasn’t enough though because another of the state’s schemes isn’t working so well. It seems replacing physical food stamps with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards has consequences:

Recipients buying eligible foods are suppose to swipe their EBT cards like any other credit card for their purchases but since Hurricane Sandy hit, most Lower East Side stores don’t have electricity to run credit card transactions and are only accepting cash. Leaving many people on EBT with empty wallets, empty refrigerators and no access to food.

“The supermarkets don’t even really want to sell anything. They’re open but if you don’t have cash, you messed up. And everybody in these projects, they take EBT…food stamps,” a La Guardia Houses resident told WNYC’s Marianne McCune.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody that a large central government builds its schemes on large centralized infrastructures. When the power goes out the state’s schemes seem to fail entirely.