People in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and 15 other states found themselves unable to use their food stamp debit cards on Saturday, after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.
All states that use Xerox systems are affected by the outage.
Xerox Corp. says that access to food stamp systems has been restored about 11 hours after the systems went down.
Shoppers from Maine to Oklahoma had to abandon baskets of groceries because they couldn't access their benefits.
Ohio's cash and food assistance card payment systems went down at 11 a.m., said Benjamin Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
In our area, many people originally feared the government shutdown was halting their eligibility for food stamps.
In Allentown, one very caring local woman, Francine Beasley, gave money to customers heading into a grocery store.
"There was a man that was crying," Beasley said. "He said he had five children and he didn't know what to do because his wife was sick and out of the money I did have left; I had $10 dollars and I gave it."