JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — More than 14,000 low-income children in Mississippi had their pandemic food cards mistakenly deactivated, prompting an apology from state officials and a promise that new cards would be mailed to their families within days.
Children with an apostrophe in their first or last names all had their cards deactivated Monday by a processing partner, the Mississippi Department of Human Services said in a news release. It said that department and the Mississippi Department of Education were notified of the error on Tuesday.
The cards are meant to provide federal assistance to families of children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school during the 2020-21 academic year.
“We apologize for this error,” the state Department of Human Services said in its statement, attributing to the mistake to a contractual vendor. “Children will not lose any benefits because of this error.”
The government agency said replacement cards have been issued for the children impacted by the mistake and, according to the release, parents should receive their children’s new cards in the mail within seven to 10 days at the same address as the original card.