In as many as 17 North American states the debit cards of the food stamp program have stopped working altogether, forcing many to spend the money they do not have in food.
The culprit seems to be Xerox, which is doing maintenance work at the system. It does not seem related to the budget crisis but one wonders why would Xerox do that? Is it a way of putting political pressure of some sort?
Whatever the case, in the meantime, people are being forced to pay for their most basic foodstuff, what in most cases is beyond what they can really afford.