Missouri sued over long wait times at ‘nonfunctional’ call center for food benefits

See excerpt from an article in the Kansas City Star

Attorneys from the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in New York joined the lawsuit. Katharine Deabler-Meadows, an attorney from that organization, said the state’s reliance on the call center unfairly prevents people with disabilities from having other options to apply for SNAP. She said advocates have seen a national trend of state social service departments reducing in-person services in favor of online applications and call centers, which she said hurts low-income residents who don’t have a reliable phone or Internet service.

“We’re talking about people who frequently do not have reliable Internet access or their only access to a phone might be a pay-per-minute phone, and having to sit on hold for hours is not an option for them,” Deabler-Meadows said. “It’s part of a concerning national trend, although I would say the facts on the ground in Missouri are some of the most dramatic I’ve ever seen.”

See additional media clips about this lawsuit:

Federal lawsuit targets Missouri’s ‘dysfunctional’ food assistance program

Advocates sue Missouri Department of Social Services over call center dysfunction

‘I am scared’; Hungry & desperate Missourians say they cannot reach anyone at Food StampsDepartment