WASHINGTON, October 1, 2021– Low-income North Carolina residents in three counties (Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania) recovering from Tropical Storm Fred 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.
“USDA is committed to expediting access to vital nutrition assistance for those affected by Tropical Storm Fred,” Secretary Vilsack said.
To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live 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. North Carolina 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, 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 collection of USDA actions taken to help North Carolina residents cope with Tropical Storm Fred and its aftermath, which also include:
- 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 September 30, 2021.
- Approving a timely reporting waiver for seven counties (Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey) through Sept. 27, 2021, allowing affected residents more time to notify the state of food lost as a result of the storm.
For more information about this and other available aid, callers from North Carolina can dial 2-1-1 or contact North Carolina’s Emergency Management Division at 1-800-858-0368. For more information about North Carolina SNAP and D-SNAP, visit North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) leverages its 15 nutrition assistance programs to ensure that children, low-income individualcs, 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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