WASHINGTON, August 27, 2020 – The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that low-income Iowa residents recovering from the effects of the derecho storm that hit the Midwest earlier this month could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said that households who may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“The D-SNAP program USDA is announcing today is an important step forward for Iowans,” Secretary Perdue said. “Other food assistance is already underway, but D-SNAP will provide the continued support our neighbors in Iowa need, as they get back on their feet after this devastating storm. We’re with you, Iowa -- all the way.”
To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live in Linn County, 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 amount for a SNAP household of their size – to help meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Iowa 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, Perdue 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.
Although current SNAP households are not eligible for D-SNAP, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, USDA has already approved emergency allotments for Iowa. Therefore, ongoing SNAP households have already received the maximum allotment for their household size for the month of August. Iowa will continue to issue replacement benefits to current SNAP households who lost food as a result of the derecho.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a battery of USDA actions taken to help Iowa residents cope with the derecho and its aftermath, which include:
- a waiver to allow SNAP participants in Linn County to buy hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers through September 21, 2020; and
- a waiver to allow SNAP households in 27 counties to request replacement SNAP benefits through September 17, 2020.
Iowans seeking more information about this and other available aid in the aftermath of the derecho should dial 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 899211. For more information about Iowa SNAP, visit the Iowa Department of Human Services website.
Further, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) continues to provide significant support to Iowa residents as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19. For more information on flexibilities provided to Iowa, visit the FNS COVID-19 Response: Iowa webpage.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’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. Follow us on Twitter at @USDANutrition.
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