WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that residents of three additional North Carolina counties -- Chatham, Durham, and Gilford – will be eligible for disaster food benefits through USDA’s Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP). President Trump extended the disaster declaration for these three counties as part of ongoing federal efforts to support Americans impacted by Hurricane Florence in September.
Households that may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“North Carolina was hit by two devastating storms in a span of a month,” said USDA’s Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps. “The D-SNAP expansion USDA is announcing today is meant to help ease the burden of finding a healthy meal for the families in these counties still recovering from Hurricane Florence.”
D-SNAP eligible households in the affected areas will receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, to meet their food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. To be eligible for D-SNAP under this expansion, a household must be in one of the three affected counties. (D-SNAP had previously been approved in 31 other North Carolina counties.)
D-SNAP timing varies with the circumstances of each disaster, but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase food to prepare at home. Before operating D-SNAP in an approved county, the state must ensure that conditions related to safety and readiness are in place. For example, power must be restored, roads must be passable, and a sufficient amount of stores must be open and available to redeem D-SNAP benefits. Affected households should look for public information notices from the state regarding the location of application sites and dates of application in each county.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a series of USDA actions taken to help North Carolina residents cope with the storms and aftermath. For more information about North Carolina SNAP, visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage America’s 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.
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