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Sep 13, 2012
DCFS Issues $195 Million in Food Assistance in September

09.13.12 - The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Secretary Suzy Sonnier said that the agency has issued nearly $195 million in food assistance since September 1.

Since Sept. 5 when the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) was launched, 165,582 households have been approved for $66.7 million in disaster benefits through Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Sonnier said that on Wednesday, 30,111 households were approved for DSNAP benefits totaling nearly $10.2 million.

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

Parish DSNAP Cards DSNAP Totals
Ascension 6,009 $2,758,387
Assumption 521 $201,874
Jefferson 50,894 $22,201,291
Lafourche 9,280 $3,985,604
Livingston 6,888 $3,225,733
Orleans 45,944 $15,862,755
Plaquemines 3,187 $1,400,563
St. Bernard 5,212 $2,230,042
St. Charles 2,214 $987,767
St. Helena 335 $119,271
St. James 1,137 $488,996
St. John the Baptist 7,278 $3,079,631
St. Tammany 14,523 $6,538,931
Tangipahoa 5,240 $2,008,348
Terrebonne 2,904 $1,247,152
Washington 1,016 $382,418

In addition to DSNAP benefits, a total of $110.5 million in regular SNAP benefits for September were issued early to 381,265 households in the state between Sept. 1 and Sept. 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.

DCFS also automatically issued $17.8 million in replacement benefits for August 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.

Additionally, 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.

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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