Food Assistance Rules Eased for Florida Families

By Teaganne Finn

Families in declared disaster counties in Florida following Hurricane Irma can now receive two months of federal food aid benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued by the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The USDA announced Sept. 22 it has approved the USDA Disaster SNAP program (D-SNAP) for households that may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules. If the household incomes are under certain limits and the households have disaster-related expenses they may qualify for D-SNAP, a USDA press release said.

“D-SNAP will provide the continued support our neighbors in Florida need, as they get back on their feet after this epic storm. We’re with you, Florida—all the way,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the press release.

Assistance for hurricane-battered Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be provided in the near future, Bruce Alexander, director of communications at the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, told Bloomberg BNA.

“Those are our territories and we support them in many endeavors and we will be supporting them,” he said.

The USDA previously approved D-SNAP for Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Teaganne Finn in Washington at tfinn@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

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