Floridians may qualify for food benefits after Irma

Floridians struggling with the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma could be eligible for help buying food.

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Officials say households that may not normally be eligible under SNAP rules may qualify for two months of benefits through USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

To be eligible, a family's income must be under the disaster limits and they must have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

Applicants must have been living in the declared disaster area at the time of the disaster. If eligible, recipients will receive disaster food assistance benefits that will be accessed using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

D-SNAP eligible households will receive two months of benefits equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size to meet their food needs as they settle back home following the disaster.

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must have lived or worked in an identified disaster area on Sept. 5 when mandatory evacuation orders began, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria.

The D-SNAP announcement is the latest in an ongoing series of USDA actions to help Florida cope with the storm and its aftermath.

This includes the early release of September benefits to all current SNAP participants prior to the storm’s impact, a waiver to allow SNAP participants to buy hot foods and hot food products with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through Sept. 30, and mass replacement of 40 percent of household SNAP benefits to current participants in 52 counties.

Details on Florida's D-SNAP program, also known as Food for Florida, is available at the Food for Florida website.

Know someone in need of some extra food money after Hurricane Irma? Eligible households can get 2 months of benefits:

Posted by Action News Jax on Friday, September 22, 2017