WASHINGTON– Low-income Nebraskans recovering from recent flooding could be eligible for food benefits through the Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) program approved today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The department also approved the state’s request for temporary flexibility in meeting school lunch meal pattern requirements.
Households who may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP, if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“USDA is committed to helping Nebraskans get back on their feet in whatever capacity we can,” Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps said. “The D-SNAP program is an important step forward to help flood impacted families get food on the table.”
D-SNAP eligible households in the affected areas will receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, to meet their food needs. To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Nebraska will share information about D-SNAP operating dates and locations through the local media.
The timing of D-SNAP implementation varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP program, a state must ensure that proper public information, staffing and resources are in place.
The D-SNAP announcement today is part of USDA’s continuing efforts to help Nebraskans cope with the disaster. USDA is also allowing school lunch and breakfast meal pattern flexibility for schools in Nebraska through April 26.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans with the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.