UPDATE: Emergency voucher order placed for families who've yet to receive them from DHHR

[image] Rebecca Meninger speaking to reporter Lisa Robbins about her wait for clothing vouchers

UPDATE:

An emergency voucher order has been placed by the DHHR, following damaged vouchers that were discovered after the initial mass print, 13 News has learned.

A spokesperson said more than 93,000 clothing vouchers have been printed for low-income families across the state.  When the vouchers were printed, it was discovered that a chunk of them were damaged during the printing process, the DHHR said.  The DHHR could not give an actual number of families still waiting to receive them.

The DHHR said an emergency order has been placed and will be delivered to the print room on Friday.

The DHHR will work through the weekend to make sure the remaining vouchers are ready to go out in the mail Monday morning, the spokesperson said.

The DHHR is looking into what took so long to place the emergency voucher order.

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Clothing vouchers are still being sent to low-income families across the state.

This is making some parents upset because their kids have already started school.

Rebecca Meninger said she applied for clothing vouchers in June.  She has four kids in Kanawha County schools. They went back to school two weeks ago.

Her family lost most of their belongings in a bed-bugs incident at their old home. She said she had to throw away all of their clothes.

Her husband has a job, but money is extremely tight.

"If you turned in your application and you qualified, you should have gotten it. There's no excuse," she said.

The situation has been hard on her kids.

"When you go to school and everyone is wearing Nike and Reebox, and you know, brand new, obviously. Then you have the ones who come to school who have plain Janes, may be dirty," she said.

The vouchers are worth $200 a piece and will go a long way for her kids, she said.

She's been keeping a detailed list of her communications with the Department of Health and Human Resources since June, which she said won't give her a clear answer on when she'll get the vouchers.

"The DHHR says you're one of 600 ma'am," she said.

If it wasn't for a school caseworker, her children would have been practically shoeless on the first day.

"The caseworker actually went and bought my children some shoes to start school in because we didn't really have anything to start with, and kids are cruel," she said.

13 News has reached out to the DHHR to find out when the remaining vouchers will be sent out across the state. A representative said they are looking into the matter.

Clothing vouchers must be redeemed at participating stores by the end of October.


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