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The requested parishes are Ascension, Lafourche, Livingston and Orleans. This request is in addition to one made yesterday for Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes.
"Hurricane Isaac was not a one day disaster in Louisiana; residents who continue to be impacted by loss and damage from the storm should pre-apply for DSNAP benefits," said Secretary Sonnier. "DCSF will continue to request DSNAP as more parishes are declared for Individual Assistance and we expect that to increase."
The program, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance after a disaster for eligible households who DO NOT currently receive regular SNAP benefits.
The state must request that the federal government initiate DSNAP, but can only make the request after the president activates the Stafford Act and approves the parish for Individual Assistance (IA), which occurred Friday for the five originally requested parishes and today for the additional parishes.
Friday, the state requested additional IA declarations for 14 additional parishes, based on their damage levels: Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana. Once the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized these 19 parishes for Individual Assistance, the state will immediately request that DSNAP benefits be granted to their residents.
Sonnier encouraged individuals to pre-apply for DSNAP by calling 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578) daily between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Callers will select the appropriate language and then select options 3 and 3. If residents have internet access they can pre-apply by visiting www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/preapply or www.getagameplan.org.
If DSNAP is approved, households that receive regular SNAP benefits and live in parishes where DSNAP is activated will automatically have additional DSNAP benefits added to their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards if they are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size. Regular SNAP households DO NOT have to visit a DSNAP site to receive the additional benefits.
If the state's DSNAP requests are approved, residents who live in an eligible parish and have pre-applied will only need to visit a DSNAP issuance site to verify their information and identity to determine final eligibility and receive benefit cards. Exact eligibility requirements and DSNAP issuance sites will be announced only after DSNAP is declared and only for parishes in which the program is declared.
DSNAP is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Read more about recipients' rights.