WASHINGTON, October 23, 2020 – Low-income Louisiana residents recovering from Hurricane Delta could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that households who may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“Louisiana has been in the path of more than one hurricane this season, and residents are still recovering from Hurricane Laura,” said Secretary Perdue. “This second round of D-SNAP benefits will make it easier for families to access nutritious food as their communities rebuild after devastating storms.”
To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must either live or work in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will receive one month of benefits – equal to the maximum amount for a SNAP household of their size – to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Louisiana will share information about D-SNAP application dates and locations through local media.
The timing of D-SNAP varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster, Perdue said, but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating D-SNAP, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing, and resources are in place.
Although current SNAP households are not eligible for D-SNAP, USDA has also approved Louisiana to automatically issue supplemental SNAP benefits to current SNAP households to bring their allotment up to the maximum amount for their household size if they don’t already receive that amount.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a series of actions taken by USDA to help Louisiana residents cope with hurricanes and their aftermath, which also include:
Approving a previous implementation of D-SNAP following Hurricane Laura.
Approving a waiver to allow SNAP participants to buy hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through October 31.
Allowing for the automatic replacement of a portion of SNAP benefits for affected households to replace food lost as a result of Hurricane Delta.
Allowing for the automatic replacement of a portion of D-SNAP benefits issued during Hurricane Laura for households affected by both storms.
Approving a timely reporting requirement waiver through November 9, allowing affected residents more time to notify the state of food lost as a result of the storm.
Approving Louisiana’s request to use USDA Foods to operate a Disaster Household Distribution (DHD) program in more than two dozen parishes affected by Hurricane Delta.
Individuals seeking more information about this and other available aid should dial 2-1-1. For more information about Louisiana SNAP, visit: www.dcfs.la.gov/page/93.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. Follow us on Twitter at @USDANutrition.