Between 50-100 million Americans are on government food assistance programs. Most of those programs are tied to plastic cards (EBT cards). This past Saturday the EBT system went down for a few hours early in the day. People freaked:
"How will I feed my kids?" (video)
Saturday evening there was another hiccup in the system, in the state of Louisiana. The system was up and running again, but it was not showing upper limits on the cards. "Free stuff." A couple of Wal-Mart stores were cleaned out by people abusing the situation:
EBT card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana (story & video)
Hardly America's finest moment, but worth looking at.