Walmart Says Food Stamp Shopping Spree Was 'Right Choice'

Walmart has no regrets although it will have to pay most of the food bill.

ByABC News
October 15, 2013, 4:44 PM

Oct. 15, 2013 — -- Walmart has no regrets about allowing a wild shopping spree at two of its Louisiana stores when an electronic glitch lifted the spending caps on the cards of food stamp recipients.

"We know we made the right choice," Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told today.

The chain has no regrets even though Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services said food stamp recipients should have been limited to $50 each during the emergency and that Walmart will have to pay the difference.

Lundberg declined to comment about how much the company may have lost or why it did not follow the emergency $50 limit.

Read More: Walmart to Get Stuck With Most of Food Stamp Shopping Spree

Another Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said, "Our focus was to continue serving our customers."

Food stamp recipients jammed into Walmarts in Mansfield and Springhill Saturday when word of the glitch spread.

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said some customers were buying eight to ten grocery carts full of food.

The store in Mansfield temporarily closed because of overcrowding and Mansfield Chief of Police Gary Hobbs said some shoppers left with up to eight carts of food and then went back for more.

The food shelves were left bare and all the meat was sold as well, Lynd said.

The shopping frenzy was triggered when the Electronic Benefits Transfer system went down because a back-up generator failed at 11 a.m. EST Saturday during a regularly-scheduled test, according to Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system and based in Norwalk, Conn. The outage erased limits on the EBT cards.

The EBT system was affected in 17 states, where individuals and households access programs like Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other programs.