WASHINGTON, May 4, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that low-income Oklahoma residents in two counties (McClain and Pottawatomie) recovering from tornadoes and severe storms that began on April 19, 2023, could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that approximately 900 households that may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“D-SNAP approval is vital to helping Oklahomans recover from the impact of recent tornadoes and severe storms by ensuring food supplies,” Vilsack said.
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. 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. Oklahoma will operate its D-SNAP application May 8, 2023, through May 12, 2023. Oklahoma will share additional 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.
Although current SNAP households in the identified areas are not eligible for D-SNAP, they may request supplemental SNAP benefits to raise their allotment to the maximum amount for their household size for one month if they do not already receive that amount.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest action USDA has taken to help Oklahoma residents cope with recent severe storms and their aftermath. USDA previously approved a waiver for the 10-day reporting requirement for the replacement of food purchased with SNAP benefits that were lost as a result of power outages due to tornadoes and storms that occurred on April 19, 2023, and April 20, 2023. The waiver request applies to the five counties of Lincoln, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and McClain. The waiver is in effect through May 19, 2023.
For more information about this and other available aid, callers from Oklahoma can dial 2-1-1. For more information about Oklahoma SNAP, visit Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services.
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