It’s been a week since Hurricane Ian made landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida. After disasters, there’s often a lot of different aid that survivors can apply for — including short-term, emergency food assistance through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
There are a couple of ways that the SNAP program can expand after a hurricane to help people who are struggling to afford food.
“Disaster SNAP is a temporary program for households that are affected by a natural disaster,” said Lizbeth Silbermann, head of the SNAP program.
Many people can get these benefits — even if they wouldn’t normally qualify for SNAP — if they’ve had some kind of storm-related expense, she said.
“When people have had major devastation and sometimes are temporarily out of jobs, it’s a vital, vital way for them to make ends meet.”
Disaster SNAP, or D-SNAP, is usually available for about a month after a storm, sometimes longer.
There’s also emergency help for people who were already receiving regular SNAP, according to Irene Lewis at the Food Research and Action Center.
“With flooding and with power outages, sometimes families lose the food that they have in their fridge,” Lewis said.
And if that’s happened, Lewis said they can apply for extra benefits to replace it.
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