Smyrna Resident Faces Delay in Food Assistance Due to System Upgrade

Feb 05, 2024 at 06:35 am by Chandelar Williams

Smyrna, TN - Due to a recent system upgrade by the state, there's been a significant delay in processing food stamp applications, affecting people like Philesha Williams from Smyrna. After enduring a lengthy application process and finally being approved for SNAP benefits in January, Philesha  said she never received her Electronic Benefits Card (EBT).
Despite numerous attempts to rectify the situation, the Smyrna resident has been left without crucial assistance to feed her family. With wait times of up to three hours when contacting the Tennessee Department of Human Services, the system backlog has led to frustration and financial strain for many applicants, including Philesha.
Despite federal guidelines requiring applications to be processed within 30 days, thousands of Tennesseans have experienced prolonged delays. As a result, Philesha has been forced to use her rent money for groceries, falling behind on payments as a consequence.
The state is now working to address the backlog, but challenges remain, including the need to conduct thousands of federally mandated interviews with applicants. Efforts to waive these interviews were unsuccessful, adding to the delays. While awaiting a response from the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding Philesha's EBT card situation, she has received emergency rent assistance from The Experience Community Church in Murfreesboro.
Sections: News Smyrna News