Sandy Disaster Food Assistance Program Announced
The Christie Administration is implementing a federal food assistance benefit program for individuals and families in certain Counties who are not currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
An estimated 100 thousand households hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy may be eligible for at least 200 dollars in electronic benefits.
The Middlesex County Board of Social Services has established eight sites throughout the County – including regional sites at Middlesex County College in Edison and the Middlesex County Fire Academy in Sayreville – for residents to apply for Disaster SNAP benefits.
Disaster SNAP, called D-SNAP, is administered by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services through the Department of Human Services and the Counties’ Boards of Social Services. Applications for the program will begin on Monday, November 26th, and run for seven business days, concluding in Middlesex County on Tuesday, December 4th. All applications must be taken and received by December 4th in order to be considered.
Eligible recipients will receive their benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer card that only can be used for the purchase of grocery food items.
DHS Commissioner Jen Velez says “now that New Jerseyans have power restored and most are returned to their homes, the tally of costs associated with cleanup and rebuilding are mounting, by providing D-SNAP in the counties that suffered the worst damage, we ensure that people who were struggling financially before the storm, and who now have these unexpected expenses, at least can buy food.”
Application rules and eligibility for D-SNAP have been modified based on lessons learned after Tropical Storm Irene in September of last year. Misinformation about the program caused long lines at designated application sites and created a potential for fraudulent activity. This year, strict criteria must be met in order for people to qualify.
Current SNAP recipients should not apply for this program because they already received a 30 percent October replacement allocation on their EBT card and will receive a supplemental benefit by December 7th, 2012.
Applicants must go to the D-SNAP location in their own County, however, displaced residents can apply in the County where they are currently staying. Residents are strongly encouraged to take note of the required criteria in order to ensure eligibility. For a list of sites, you may go to www.njsnap.org.