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Sep 12, 2012
DCFS Issues $184.8 Million in Food Assistance in September

09.12.12 - The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Secretary Suzy Sonnier said that the agency has issued more than $184.8 million in food assistance since September 1.

A total of $110.5 million in regular SNAP benefits for September were issued early to 381,265 households in the state between September 1 and September 4. These benefits normally would have been issued between the 1st and 14th, but were issued early to ensure that those eligible for September benefits had resources for food following the storm.

An additional $17.8 million in replacement benefits for August were issued automatically to 200,720 households in the regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 19 parishes. August beneficiaries received replacement benefits to assist in replacing food lost from the storm. These benefits equaled 30 percent of the August monthly allotment.

Since September 5 when the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) was launched, 135,471 households have been approved for $56.5 million in disaster benefits through Tuesday, September 11.

In addition to benefits already issued, DCFS will issue a supplemental food benefit for regular SNAP households in 16 of the declared disaster parishes. The supplement will automatically provide added benefits to bring the amount of September SNAP benefits to the maximum amount allowed based on household size. DCFS estimates that supplemental benefits will total around $16 million.

Sonnier said that on Tuesday, 28,231 households were approved for DSNAP benefits totaling more than $11.5 million, which is an increase of nearly 7,000 households and more than $2.7 million in DSNAP benefits from Monday's one-day total.

DSNAP totals by parish for the seven days since the program launched are:

Parish DSNAP Cards DSNAP Totals
Ascension 5,989 $2,749,216
Assumption 189 $72,350
Jefferson 42,209 $18,820,778
Lafourche 8,790 $3,785,932
Livingston 6,859 $3,213,533
Orleans 38,361 $13,477,855
Plaquemines 2,585 $1,150,898
St. Bernard 4,158 $1,793,169
St. Charles 1,575 $703,711
St. Helena 106 $36,799
St. James 644 $252,256
St. John the Baptist 6,268 $2,707,436
St. Tammany 12,060 $5,503,741
Tangipahoa 3,674 $1,415,305
Terrebonne 1,610 $698,671
Washington 394 $149,891

Tuesday was the first day that DSNAP sites in Assumption, St. Helena and Washington parishes were open to applicants. Tuesday also was the last day for residents in Ascension and Livingston parishes to apply for DSNAP.

DSNAP is an income eligibility based program to assist eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. Eligibility is determined by federal guidelines based on an individual's known or expected income, resources (such as cash on hand, saving and checking account balances) and unreimbursed disaster expenses during the disaster period of August 26 and September 24. For more information on income guidelines, visit www.dcfs.la.gov or call 211.

Applicants who knowingly provide inaccurate or incomplete information as part of a DSNAP application could face criminal prosecution and disqualification of benefits. DCFS will investigate suspected fraud and aggressively pursue recoupment and possibly prosecution.

DSNAP is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Read more about recipients' rights.

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