Problems with state's food stamp program leaves many waiting

Problems with state's food stamp program leaves many waiting

By Rikki Cheese. CREATED Jan 4, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Misery at the welfare office near Rancho and Washington on Wednesday, where many people who waited for hours in line found no help inside.

Ronda Zager was among those standing in the hot winter sun.  She told Action News, "People are hungry and starving and have health issues and money issues and they don't have enough employees and everybody is just in a big funk."

Zager is among hundreds, perhaps thousands of Nevadans whose food stamps have been temporarily cut off.  Action News received e-mails asking us to find out why. 

Zager said her situation was desperate. "Basically for me, I have a child. She's a teenager. I'm type one diabetic. I depend on the food stamps to get food and eat."  And, Zager said, she depended on a letter she didn't get from the State of Nevada.

A spokeswoman for the Nevada Division of Welfare and Support Services admits, the state messed up. 

Courtesy notices are usually sent reminding people to re-apply for food stamps every six months, but they weren't mailed in November due to a computer glitch. Zager didn't get hers until December 19Th for the December 31st deadline. When she, and as many as 11,000 Nevadans woke up January first, they discovered their food stamp cards were not re-loaded.

The spokeswoman told Action News, food stamp recipients have three options. They can visit a welfare office in person to see if their application can be accepted on the spot, or they can mail the form in or fill it out on-line.  Unfortunately, the  back-log of applications now being processed means the last two options may delay the resumption of benefits by days, even longer.

If you have a question or a concern you would like us to look into, send an e-mail to


Rikki Cheese

Rikki Cheese

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Rikki Cheese is currently an anchor and reporter for Action News.