You go cuh-RAZY loading your cart with anything you can get your hands on, apparently.
Hey, it’s the economy, stupid.
That’s exactly what hundreds of people in Louisiana did and now officials are left trying to figure out what do do about it.
The shopping frenzy was triggered when the Electronic Benefits Transfer system went down because a back-up generator failed Saturday during a test. Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system, says the outage allowed recipients in 17 states to spend unlimited amounts of money because the spending limit was removed for their EBT cards.
As Good Morning America reports, police were called to Walmart stores in Mansfield and Springhill, Louisiana as crazed shoppers completely cleared the shelves of all food. Photos show some customers pushing as many as ten carts of groceries. At one point in Mansfield, where police say there was some pushing and shoving between customers, the store owner was forced to close the store to new arrivals to adhere to a fire hazard. Mansfield’s chief of police, Gary Hobbs, said there were reports that customers were checking out with six to eight shopping carts, then returning later in the day to purchase more. This, when the limit on their cards is $50 per cardholder per day.
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said that customers were “not unruly” at that location. There were no fights or arrests made, but the scene was still chaotic, he said.
Black Friday on steroids, apparently. “It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town,” Lynd continues. “There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated.”
When an announcement was made that the computer system had been restored customers abandoned carts full of food in store aisles.
“At that point in time, they knew the jig was up and they couldn’t purchase what they wanted to,” Chief Lynd said.
Apparently those Walmarts were the only grocery stores in town who kept accepting EBT cards when the system failed. Other stores opted not to accept the cards until the system was restored.
The Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, said the issue was not related to the government shutdown. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services’ spokesman Trey Williams said the agency is meeting today to discuss how to handle the issue.
Check out the insanity on this video shot on a man’s phone then uploaded to YouTube.
Image source: libertycrier.com
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