09/18/11 — Assistance available to replace lost food

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Assistance available to replace lost food

By From staff reports
Published in News on September 18, 2011 1:50 AM

Starting Monday and continuing through Friday Wayne County residents can apply for Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits (formerly called food stamps). The assistance also is available to people not currently receiving assistance.

In the days following Hurricane Irene, thousands of people flooded the county's Department of Social Services in hopes of replacing food that was lost because of Hurricane Irene. However, no help was available until now.

The applications will be taken at the former Sportsman's World building, 2001 E. Ash St., Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Wayne, along with Pender County, Thursday was added to the list of eligible counties by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Gov. Beverly Perdue secured the food assistance through her request for a presidential disaster declaration that recently was approved. The program, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is open to individuals not normally eligible for Food and Nutrition Services benefits, who were affected by Hurricane Irene.

Residents of the affected areas who are not receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits may qualify for temporary assistance for a month if:

• Their home was damaged or destroyed.

• They have disaster-related expenses.

• They lost income.

• Had food loss as a result of a power loss of at least eight hours from Hurricane Irene.  

Eligibility to participate is based on available income and resources.

Those applying for Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits will be asked to provide proof of their identity along with proof of residency, such as a utility bill; and the Social Security numbers, if available, and dates of birth for all members of their household.

Households living in one of these two counties may use their Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits to purchase through Sept. 30 hot prepared meals from retailers that are located in these counties who are authorized to accept electronic benefits transfer benefits.

Households that currently receive Food and Nutrition Services Benefits, which did not request a replacement of benefits, can apply for supplemental benefits if the household suffered a disaster-related expense other than food loss. Households that received replacement benefits do not need to apply for the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Program.