FNS - Food and Nutrition Service

03/01/2024 | Press release | Archived content

USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for California Disaster Areas

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that low-income California residents recovering from severe storms and power outages beginning Jan. 21, 2024, could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA's Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that approximately 4,500 households that may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP - if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

"USDA is committed to making sure that those experiencing the impact of the recent storms get the food they need," Vilsack said. "We recognize that the crisis doesn't end when the rain stops. For families in these stricken areas, it may be just beginning."

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live or work in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will receive one month of benefits - equal to the maximum monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size - that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select retailers online to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. California will operate its D-SNAP application for seven non-consecutive days, beginning March 7, 2024, through March 8, 2024, and March 11, 2024, through March 15, 2024. California will share additional information about D-SNAP application dates and locations through local media.

The timing of D-SNAP 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, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing, and resources are in place.

Although current SNAP households in the identified areas are not eligible for D-SNAP, they may request supplemental SNAP benefits to raise their allotment to the maximum amount for their household size for one month if they don't already receive that amount.

The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a battery of USDA actions taken to help California residents cope with recent severe storms and its aftermath, which also include:

  • Approving a mass replacements waiver for SNAP participants, allowing households to receive replacement of benefits lost due to power outages. This waiver applies to 121 zip codes in 27 counties.
  • Approving a 10-day reporting waiver for food purchased with SNAP benefits that were lost as a result of power outages in 14 counties: Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Ventura.
  • Approving California's DSS non-congregate feeding request for Child Care Food Program (CCFP) institutions and sponsoring organizations under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), allowing program operators to serve meals in a non-congregate setting, adjust the time of meal service, and allow parent and guardian meal pick up.

For more information about this and other available aid, callers from California can dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-621-3362. For more information about CalFresh visit California's Department of Social Services.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS's report, "Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service," highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration's National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.


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