Government shutdown impacting local grocery store, cannot process food stamps

Red Lion food stamps.PNG

A grocery store in York County was forced to turn away food stamps-they say the government shutdown is hurting their business.

D & K Surplus Grocery had to apply for new licensing to accept EBT cards, also known as food stamps.

New ownership took over the business, just two days ago.

Signs everywhere: D & K Surplus Grocery in Red Lion warning their customers, food stamps can't be used right now.

"This is our 39th year, of those 39 years we’ve accepted food stamps for 35 years," explained Jenna Shearer.

She has worked at the store for 12 years.

She's been hanging signs and fielding calls about food stamps since January 2nd.

"We are, as the days go by, we’re getting message across it seems a little better each day but it’s frustrating."

Frustrating because there's nothing the store can do.

The US Department of Agriculture approves all new licenses.

"Right now we’re officially frozen because the government is shut down and we can’t process our application."

Tom Lohr is the new owner of D & K.

He says they tried to get pre-approved for the license before the sale went through.

"We tried to be proactive and start this in December, late November, early December , set up the new entities with the businesses it just has not worked out."

Lohr purchased the business, but doesn't own the company name, so the license belongs to the original owners.

"We were trying to make it a smooth transition where it would happen the first day we opened, they said if we didn’t hear anything by January 4th to give them a call back. They went dead basically just before Christmas, I think," said Lohr.

Sixteen percent of their business comes from people who use food stamps.

D & K wants to be able to serve those in need, they're just waiting for the government to re-open.

"As soon as we’re able, we’ll be accepting food stamps again. This is not permanent, this is just temporary," said Shearer.

We spoke to people off-camera who were shopping today. They said they rely on these prices to make those food stamps stretch.

The new owner of D & K Surplus Grocery says he's reached out to local representatives who are helping him get in touch with our leaders on a federal level.

They're hoping the shutdown won't last much longer.

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