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Walmart stores in Louisiana saw a shopping frenzy occur Saturday night as a glitch removed the spending limits on food stamp debit cards.
With no limit on shoppers' Electronic Benefits Transfer cards (EBT), people took advantage of the situation and cleared out shelves at Walmarts in Springhill and Mansfield, TIME reports. The glitch lasted for two hours.
The amount of shoppers crowding into stores caused the police to be brought in to keep things orderly. Once the glitch was fixed, it was announced over the loudspeaker in one Springhill store, where shoppers simply abandoned their carts and walked out.
According to ABC News, Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd saw people buying way more than they could ever eat. "I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts." One person bought $700 worth of groceries.
Lynd also commented that while there were crowds, people were "not unruly," and no arrests were needed.
"It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town. There was no food left on any of the shelves, and no meat left. The grocery part of Walmart was totally decimated."
Trey Williams, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services said that any retailers who did not limit sales to cardholders (up to $50), would not be reimbursed for the extra cost. The glitch affected 17 states.
Other grocery stores in the area were denying people from using their EBT cards until the glitch was fixed.
TIME notes that Lynd told the magazine that Walmart's corporate headquarters said to keep selling despite the glitch "so that they could get food for their families."
image: Wikimedia Commons