Wos’ ineptitude leaves many without food on the table

Tens of thousands of North Carolina’s poor wait for months to receive food stamp assistance.

This gross error made by the Department of Health and Human Services has hurt many of those living below the poverty level — our most vulnerable citizens.

Forty-seven thousand Guilford County families received food stamp benefits in 2013.

Thousands of our state’s hungry swamped food banks and soup kitchens after glitches in a new computer system caused them to not receive food stamp benefits. According to the Greensboro News & Record, Greensboro Urban Ministry handed out emergency food to nearly double the amount of needy families.

NC FAST, the new computer system, was created to expedite food stamp applications but failed miserably. The impact of the failure was felt state-wide.

And who is to blame? The buck stops at Aldona Wos, head of the DHHS.

Wos has occupied the position since January 2013 when Governor Pat McCrory appointed her Secretary of the DHHS. She was one of the governor’s biggest fundraisers prior to her appointment.

How convenient, Gov. McCrory.

My vote? Wos has to go. Poor leadership hurts poor people. Period.

Democrats demand her dismissal, but McCrory defends her mistakes.

“There’s been 10 years of operational neglect — not only in that department, but others,” said Gov. McCrory, according to WRAL.com. “You can’t fix that in one year.”

“I think (DHHS) needs to reevaluate their priorities,” said Christian R. Honein, first-year and vice president of Guilford College Democrats. “Maybe if Governor McCrory took the $230,000 in taxpayer funds he used to renovate the bathrooms in the governor’s mansion and put it towards making sure our food stamp program works for families in need, we wouldn’t have the problem.”

You got that right.

Wos repeatedly downplayed the massive food stamp benefit delays on worker’s “learning curve.” She also attributed the fault to counties’ lack of prior preparation.

“The counties that were prepared … where the departments were on top of their training, those counties had relatively few problems,” said Wos on WRAL News in November. “So it’s not the computer glitches.”

An internal DHHS report contradicted Wos’ glossy excuses by stating that only a few counties had training or staffing issues.

Ms. Wos, see, what you should have said was, “I’m sorry.” Sorry to the poor, hungry citizens of North Carolina who had to flood food pantries just to feed their kids. Sorry for the DHHS’ epic failure to you.

Although Wos seems more focused on saving face, we must unite as a community and actually show concern for our less fortunate neighbors.

“Citizens can organize and take action to push Governor McCrory to ensure that (the DHHS) more effectively responds to the needs of its citizens,” said Sherry Giles, associate professor and chair of justice and policy studies.

“This issue can become part of the concerns addressed by the coalition of the organizations and individuals that organized the Moral Monday protests and continue to advocate for state leaders to be more responsive to the needs of its residents,” said sophomore Fiona Lloyd-Mueller, echoing Giles’ sentiments.

“As a Quaker school, we should care for our fellow North Carolinians.”

“It may mean having a community-wide food drive or going out to our food banks donating our time.”

Bottom line — Wos’ bad judgment, plus lack of compassion for the poor, equals a vacancy at the DHHS.

See you later, Secretary Wos. Don’t forget to write.

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