WASHINGTON — Households impacted by recent wildfires in Northern California could be eligible for help buying food through USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced today.
Those who may not normally be eligible for nutrition assistance under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP — if their income is under the disaster limits and they have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“D-SNAP is an important next step in helping Northern Californians recover from terrible losses,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We will continue our close partnership with the California Department of Social Services to ensure wildfire victims have the food they need.”
Benefits will be made available to eligible people who either lived or worked in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma and Yuba Counties at the time the wildfires began on October 8, 2017; have been affected by the disaster; and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Approved households will receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size to meet their food needs as they return to their communities to recover and rebuild. Current SNAP participants in the affected areas will also receive additional benefits as appropriate to match the D-SNAP amounts.
The D-SNAP announcement is the latest in an ongoing series of USDA actions to help those affected by the California wildfires. This includes a waiver to allow SNAP participants to buy hot foods and hot food products with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide, automatic replacement of 60 percent of October benefits to current participants in specific zip codes in 6 counties, and extended time for SNAP participants in other locations to submit claims for food lost in the disaster.
Details on California’s D-SNAP program, including application sites, hours of operation, and information about optional preregistration which can help speed the application process on site, will be available soon at the California Department of Social Services website (http://www.cdss.ca.gov).
USDA’s FNS administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.
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