WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Friday, Oct. 16, that low-income Oregon residents enduring the ongoing wildfires could be eligible for much needed assistance from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
Households that 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.
“USDA stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Oregonians affected by these wildfires, and we’re committed to ensuring they have enough to eat throughout their entire recovery,” said Perdue. “SNAP will be a vital part of our ongoing food assistance to these hard-hit communities.”
To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must either live or work 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 amount for a SNAP household of their size – to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Oregon 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, Secretary 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 previously approved emergency allotments for Oregon in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, ongoing SNAP households have already received the maximum allotment for their household size for the month of September. Oregon will continue to issue replacement benefits to current SNAP households who lost food as a result of the wildfires.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a series of actions taken by USDA to help Oregon residents cope with the wildfires. These include:
- Allowing households in certain counties to replace food lost as a result of power outages and wildfires;
- Providing households in certain counties with more time to request replacement SNAP benefits for food lost; and
- Approving the Disaster Household Distribution (DHD) program in four counties from Sept. 29 - Oct. 16, to support food banks in feeding families in very critical need of food help.
Individuals seeking more information about this and other available aid should dial 2-1-1. For more information about Oregon’s SNAP program, visit www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits.
Further, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) continues to provide significant support to Oregon residents as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19. For more information on flexibilities provided to Oregon, visit the FNS Oregon COVID-19 Response webpage.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American 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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