Federal officials are warning that North Carolina has about two weeks to make significant progress on its massive backlog of food stamp applications or face losing millions in funding.
In a sternly worded letter sent Thursday, officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave state Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos until Feb. 10 to meet three milestones, including completing all applications pending more than 90 days. If the state fails, the $88 million in federal funding the state receives annually to administer its food stamp program could be terminated as early as March 12.
North Carolina has struggled to process benefits applications since introducing its new NC FAST computer system last summer. Despite repeated claims of progress, more than 23,000 families were still waiting this week.