Many people swiped their link card and were denied. The Electronic Benefits Transfer system shut down in 17 states across the country, including Illinois. Leaving families stunned and did not know what to do. It has nothingto do with the government shut down but technical difficulties caused a lot of inconvenience. And while a glitch in the system may just be a temporary issue, it's instilled fear into many families including Elizabeth Marth and her children.
For Marth a typical trip to the grocery store may go like this: up and down aisles, her children picking out their favorite treats.
"I can't go out and buy cake and ice cream and candy because that amount has to last five people an entire month," Marth said.
Marth has about $500 a month on her Link card to spend on food for her family of five.
"We are a low-income family," Marth said. " Without that support, without that Link, we have nothing."
She found out along with families across the country, her link card wasn't working.
"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do," Marth expressed.
Marth has questions but she has no answers, unaware the system was down due to technical difficulties.
"Panic, pure panic," Marth described when she first heard the news. "My hands started shaking. I started crying."
Her children were scared.
"If we don't have any food, then we'll be hungry every day," said Marth's 9-year-old daughter Hailey Allen.
"It's just when it runs out, I just wonder what'll happen," said Marth's 12-year-old son Trevor Allen.
Marth still doesn't know when her next trip to the grocery store will be or when she can buy food again, but she does know it all depends on Link.
Marth says her brother only has four days left of food. He was going to go grocery shopping Saturday when the system was down. If times get tough, they would band together and find a way to make feed their families.
It's not just one specific place cards are getting declined. Shoppers said they can't purchase from Aldi, Kroger, County Market and Save A Lot in Decatur and a Walmart in Shelbyville.