MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Mecklenburg County says it has cleared its food stamp backlog.
Since this summer, Channel 9′s investigative reporter Madison Carter has been pushing for a permanent solution. A decade-long Channel 9 investigation uncovered the backlog, which left families struggling to put food on the table.
But the news Friday is major progress.
Carter last reported in August that 4,820 cases were on Mecklenburg County’s food stamp recertification backlog. She spoke to mothers who were left unable to feed their children and seniors who were out of options for their next meals.
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After months of pushing the county for a fix, Carter learned Friday that the backlog has been entirely cleared.
Carter was told the most recent backlog was created after COVID-era measures were lifted. Leaders also cited difficulty hiring.
Back in August, the county and deputy county manager told Carter this wasn’t a problem they could solve on their own.
“Mecklenburg County is at the bottom of the list when it comes to processing these recertifications on time. The majority of other counties in the state are able to do that. Have you reached out to any other counties to figure out what their process looks like? How come most counties are able to do it, but not this one?” Carter asked Deputy County Manager Anthony Trotman.
“It’s difficult to compare our county to any other county,” he told her.
“We want to be current, is the reason why we are in this backlog period because we know what to do, but we need the federal and state government to assist us in doing it,” he added.
Carter went right to the state to seek those solutions, and it appears the measures they told us would be in place by this fall indeed were.
The county confirmed that they’ve helped significantly. Right now, it has just over 100 cases in progress, and the problem of pileups seems to be at bay for now.
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