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BATON ROUGE – Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Bossier, Caddo and DeSoto parishes will automatically have a portion of their June benefits replaced following the severe storms that struck North Louisiana June 16, as a result of approval of a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS).
Under a second FNS waiver, SNAP recipients in 18 other affected parishes may also apply for replacement benefits by July 17.
“USDA has been working closely with our partners at Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services to ensure affected families can receive some needed relief from the recent severe storms,” said USDA FNS Southwest Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig. “The waivers can help ease the burden and aid in Louisianans’ recovery by providing additional time to report losses or replacement depending on the Parish.”
DCFS Secretary Terri Ricks said, “We are so grateful for our partners at USDA FNS, especially Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig and staff, who are always responsive to the needs of Louisiana. These waivers allow us to more efficiently and effectively support our neighbors who lost food as a result of the power outages following the storms.”
One waiver allows DCFS to automatically replace 60 percent of a household's June benefits in three parishes – Bossier, Caddo and DeSoto – because more than half of residents there lost power for 24 hours or more, based on data from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC). The approval waives a regulation that typically requires a household to submit a written request for replacement benefits due to power outages and other disruptions. DCFS expects to issue the automatic replacement benefits by Friday, June 30, 2023. There are about 32,974 SNAP households in the three parishes. The estimated amount of replacements is $8,564,647.
Based on LPSC data, there were no other parishes with widespread, sustained outages to meet the required threshold for automatic mass replacements. SNAP recipients in other impacted parishes who lost food purchased with SNAP benefits due to a power outage of 24 straight hours or more can request replacement benefits by submitting a completed and signed SNAP 38 form to DCFS. Those parishes are Bienville, Caldwell, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Tensas, Union, Webster, West Carroll and Winn.
SNAP recipients in Bossier, Caddo and DeSoto parishes whose food losses exceeded 60% of their monthly benefit amount may request replacement of their full loss amount (up to their total monthly allotment) by submitting a completed and signed SNAP 38 form.
While residents typically have 10 days to report food loss, the USDA FNS has approved DCFS’s request and granted households in the 21 affected parishes an extension of an additional 20 days to verify their power outage and report their loss. The deadline to submit all information to DCFS is Monday, July 17, 2023.
SNAP clients may need to provide documentation from their utility company to verify their power outage. Because this can take time, residents are advised to request their verification documents as soon as possible.
More information, including online and printable SNAP 38 forms, can be found at http://dcfs.la/rb616.
About Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
DCFS is the state agency responsible for keeping children safe, helping individuals and families become self-sufficient and providing refuge during disasters. The Division of Family Support administers the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps), Workforce Development, Child Support Enforcement, Disability Determination Services, and federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. The Child Welfare Division manages Child Protection Investigations, Family Services, Foster Care and Adoption Services. Through its Division of Emergency Preparedness and Response, DCFS supports the state's disaster response and recovery functions that involve evacuation, sheltering, emergency food assistance and human services. For more information, visit www.dcfs.la.gov.
About the USDA Food and Nutrition Service
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.
SNAP Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:
https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
Alexandria, VA 22314; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.