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USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for New Jersey Disaster Areas

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2021 – Low-income New Jersey residents in seven counties (Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, Somerset and Union) recovering from Hurricane Ida 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 (USDA).

Secretary Tom Vilsack said that households that may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

“The waiver USDA approved for the affected residents of New Jersey will help ensure that people can get the food they need as they get back on their feet in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida,” said Secretary Vilsack.

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must have lived 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 monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size – that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select retailers online to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. New Jersey 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, Vilsack 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 a D-SNAP, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing, and resources are in place.

The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a battery of USDA actions taken to help New Jersey residents cope with Hurricane Ida and its aftermath, such as:

  • Approving a waiver to allow SNAP participants in 12 counties (Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren) to buy hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Approving a timely reporting waiver for affected households in 12 counties (Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren) through Oct. 1, 2021, allowing affected residents more time to notify the state of food lost as a result of power outages from Hurricane Ida that began on Sept. 1, 2021.

For more information about this and other available aid, callers in New Jersey should dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-652-1148. For more information about New Jersey SNAP and D-SNAP, visit New Jersey’s Department of Human Services.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) leverages its 15 nutrition assistance programs to ensure that children, low-income individuals, and families have opportunities for a better future through equitable access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food, while building a more resilient food system. Under the leadership of Secretary Tom Vilsack, FNS is fighting to end food and nutrition insecurity for all through programs such as SNAP, school meals, and WIC. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more, visit www.fns.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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