Woman gets disconnected phone line when applying for SNAP benefits; state says they’re resolving it

Melanie Cole says she’s been starving for help for weeks, regarding getting approved for SNAP benefits.

“When you go hungry, that’s not a good feeling,” Cole said.

Cole told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln that after enduring a home fire a year ago after not having home insurance, she’s starting from scratch.

She said she found herself needing to re-apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, better known as SNAP, or more popularly called food stamps.

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“We have absolutely no resources,” Cole told Channel 2 Action News.

Cole says after she applied, she was told a state representative would call her for an interview. But to her chagrin, the call never came. She was eventually sent a letter telling her to call a provided number to reschedule an appointment.

“So, I get a letter that says, you have missed your interview and they gave me this number to call, if you call that number right now it goes to a disconnected Verizon cell phone number,” Cole said.

Other SNAP recipients have emailed Channel 2 Action News with similar complaints.


Lincoln reached out to the Department of Human Services, which oversees SNAP benefits in the state.

Several times in the last year, Channel 2 Action News has reported on the scrutiny the division has received.

In December, the agency blamed understaffing for the reason thousands of SNAP applications were delayed. Cole said getting approved is her main priority.

“It’s heartbreaking because I know if this is happening to me, it’s happening to a lot of other Georgians,” said Cole.

“We’ve recently moved to a new phone system, and this issue appears to be related to an old phone number that needs to be updated. We are currently working to resolve this. Any customer who needs assistance with appointment scheduling can call us at 877-423-4746, enter their case information, and they will be directed to the appropriate caseworker,” DHS said in a statement to Channel 2 Action News.

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