WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that low-income Colorado residents in parts of Boulder County affected by the wildfires that started on December 30 could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that households that may not normally be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) under regular program rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“Hundreds of houses and businesses were tragically consumed by fire in suburban communities in Boulder County,” Vilsack said. “While affected families are working to find ways to move forward, D-SNAP can help make sure they are able to get food to feed their families.”
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 monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size – that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select retailers online to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Colorado and Boulder County officials 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, Vilsack 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.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest USDA action taken to help Boulder County residents cope with the effects of the wildfires and its aftermath. Previously, USDA approved the state’s request to waive the 10-day reporting requirement for replacing food purchased with SNAP benefits that was lost as a result of power outages and the extensive wildfires.
For more information about this and other available aid, callers from Colorado can dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-536-5298 from outside the state. For more information about Colorado’s SNAP, visit the state’s SNAP DHS page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.