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NC Makes Progress On Food Stamp Delays, But Deadline Looms

State and county health workers are rushing to clear parts of North Carolina's food stamp backlog before a federal deadline. The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees the food stamp program, and it's demanding North Carolina make a certain amount of progress by Monday.

Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture started threatening to take away money from North Carolina, the state has gotten its act together.

State and county workers have made significant progress on a backlog that's left many families waiting months to get food stamps. In the last week and a half:

-They've reduced the backlog of expedited applications by about 70 percent.

-They've cut the backlog of regular applications that have been pending for more than three months by about 85 percent.

-And they've brought down the number of pending renewals by about 90 percent.

State and county workers have pulled that off by working around the clock and through the weekend. They have until Monday to get those percentages to 100 percent – they have to clear those particular backlogs.  

If they don't, the Department of Agriculture will issue a formal warning that's one step closer to suspending the state's administrative funding for the food stamp program.