To aid Iowa residents impacted by recent flooding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits for five western Iowa counties. Households that do not normally qualify for SNAP may be eligible for D-SNAP if they meet certain requirements.
USDA is also providing extended time for current SNAP recipients to seek replacement of food lost due to the disaster. SNAP regulations normally require households to report lost food within 10 days of purchase. However, USDA approved the Iowa Department of Human Services request to extend this time period so SNAP households have until April 30, 2019 to request replacement benefits.
“As families recover from a disaster like this, putting food on the table should be the least of their concerns,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps. “USDA is dedicated to helping disaster victims get back on their feet by allowing program flexibilities and providing assistance such as D-SNAP.”
D-SNAP will be available to eligible households in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury counties. The application period will operate from April 8, 2019, through April 16, 2019. Operations will be closed during the weekend.
D-SNAP eligible households in the affected areas 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. 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. Ongoing households that lived in any of the five counties approved for D-SNAP operations may request disaster supplements on an individual basis via signed affidavit attesting to their disaster losses.
The timing of D-SNAP implementation varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution are restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP program, a state must ensure that proper public information, staffing and resources are in place.