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EBT outage planned for Saturday night, Sunday morning

A selection of fresh fruits is shown July 15, 2015, on the Fresh Stop bus, a mobile market in Eatonville, Fla. The Fresh Stop brings fresh fruits and vegetables to communities without supermarkets. The nation’s largest grocery chains have built new supermarkets in only a fraction of the neighborhoods where they’re needed most, according to an analysis of federal food stamp data by The Associated Press.
A selection of fresh fruits is shown July 15, 2015, on the Fresh Stop bus, a mobile market in Eatonville, Fla. The Fresh Stop brings fresh fruits and vegetables to communities without supermarkets. The nation’s largest grocery chains have built new supermarkets in only a fraction of the neighborhoods where they’re needed most, according to an analysis of federal food stamp data by The Associated Press. The Associated Press file, 2015

Washington food assistance benefits will be unavailable late Saturday night and early Sunday morning while the state switches companies that manage transactions for the program.

People who get services from an Electronic Benefits Transfer card, commonly known as an EBT card, such as Basic Food or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, won’t be able to use the benefits beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the Department of Social and Health Services.

Officials estimate the outage will last up to 10 hours.

The health services department’s current vendor JPMorgan Chase decided to stop EBT services in 2013, but extended its contract with the state until 2016, according to the release. Fidelity Information Services will handle the transactions after the switch.

Existing EBT customers won’t need a new card. But new customers will get an updated card.

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826

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