BATON ROUGE: The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced federal approval of a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) for eligible residents impacted by the tornado in New Orleans.
The affected area approved for DSNAP assistance is generally located south of Dwyer Road and Michoud Bayou, east of Wilson Avenue, north of Almonaster Avenue, and west of Gentilly Road. An impact map is attached and can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/disaster and staff will be stationed at the DSNAP site entrance daily to verify addresses.
DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. The program is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.
The DSNAP location in Orleans Parish will be open Tuesday, February 21, through Friday, February 24, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following location:
- Southern University New Orleans Conference Center, 4101 Emmet W. Bashful Dr., New Orleans, LA 70126
DCFS staff will serve applicants on a staggered alphabetical schedule on the first two days with all applicants welcome the third and fourth days. Each applicant will have three days to apply. Applicants who are unable to visit a site on their designated day should go on one of the final days specified.
- Tuesday, February 21: A-K
- Wednesday, February 22: L-Z
- Thursday, February 23: A-Z (all last names)
- Friday, February 24: A-Z (all last names)
Authorized Representatives. Applicants may name an Authorized Representative to go to a DSNAP site on their behalf. Authorized Representatives must bring with them a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household along with a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative.
Accommodations will be made for the elderly and those with disabilities to reduce on-site wait times, but we strongly encourage these residents to name an Authorized Representative to visit a DSNAP site and complete an application on their behalf.
Regular SNAP households SHOULD NOT go to a DSNAP site. Households in the impacted area described above that receive regular SNAP benefits can apply for replacement benefits through DCFS if they lost food in the tornadoes. They must report their loss by contacting a local DCFS office by Friday, February 24. (This date reflects an extension from the original February 17 deadline.)
To help expedite the application process DCFS is encouraging residents in all affected areas to pre-register for DSNAP benefits online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preregister.
All registrants will have to provide the following information:
- Proof of current address and parish of household
- Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth for each household member
- Monthly income for each household member
- All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings)
The information will be kept securely on file and will be confidential.
The pre-registration process does not guarantee benefits, but is designed to save time, minimize long waits and prevent applicants from coming to the site, only to find out that they do not have the right information needed to apply.
As with all programs, DCFS works to ensure this program and others are available for eligible applicants by aggressively protecting against fraud in benefits programs year round. Strong safeguards are in place to ensure that only eligible citizens receive DSNAP benefits, to identify those who are dishonest about their eligibility and to pursue recoupment and/or prosecution.