UPDATE: A Xerox spokeswoman says the system is back up and running but connectivity issues remain.
(NEWS CENTER) - People in Maine and 16 other states across the country were unable to use food stamps on their debit cards on Saturday after a system failure at Xerox.
EBT cards, in Maine known as the Pine Tree Card, are issued through the Department of Health and Human Services to those who qualify for state assistance.
Xerox is the vendor for The EBT system through which SNAP and WIC operate in many states, and a routine check on their on their protocols caused the whole thing to crash.
People who need to use their benefits are urged to talk with local retailers about activating an emergency voucher system.
"We are very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused," said Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. "We have been in contact with the vendor who is working diligently to address the problem, and we expect it to be resolved shortly."