Friday, May 13, 2011

Pre-apply now for Disaster Food Assistance

If you live in an area that is threatened by rising water and are concerned about possible loss of income related to the Morganza Spillway flooding, you may want to consider applying early for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (DSNAP), formerly known as Disaster Food Stamps. You don't have to wait until the water reaches your door to pre-apply.

DSNAP provides food assistance for eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits, but who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

There is no risk to filling out the application now. It is designed to save time, prevent long waits, and make it easier for applicants to collect the required income information before circumstances change. Filling out an application doesn't guarantee you will receive assistance, but will make receiving benefits a lot easier for those who qualify.

Visit and click on the Disaster Food Stamp Program Logo (look for the picture below on the DCFS web site) or call 1-888-LA HELP U (1-888-524-3578) to pre-apply.

If a disaster is declared and the DSNAP program is launched, those who have pre-applied only need to visit a DSNAP site to verify their information and identity, determine final eligibility, and receive their benefit cards. Exact eligibility requirements and a list of places you can go to activate DSNAP benefits will be announced as soon as a disaster is declared.

Current SNAP recipients do not need to pre-apply, since they would receive disaster benefits automatically.

- Kristen Sinclair and Jen Hamilton, TPL Reference Staff

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