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Newport to Receive SNAP Replacement Benefits in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Funds allow replacement benefits to those who lost perishable foods.

Governor Lincoln Chafee announced on Sunday that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved $535,796 in additional federal funds for Rhode Island.  These funds will allow the Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) to issue SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as “Food Stamps”) replacement benefits to recipients who lost frozen and perishable foods as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

“This is one more example of the helpful response of the federal government to the people of Rhode Island,” said Governor Lincoln Chafee.  “SNAP benefits are 100% federal and so this help along with the aid coming from other federal agencies are key ingredients in the recovery that is taking place in our state as a result of the hard work and planning by so many.”

SNAP replacement benefits help recipients restore perishable and frozen food that was lost due to power outages lasting more than four hours or replace foods lost due to flooding. DHS sought a waiver to allow automated replacement of benefits for the hardest hit municipalities.  For cities and towns where 50 percent or more of residents lost power, DHS was approved by FNS to automatically replace 25 percent of SNAP recipients’ October 2012 benefit.  SNAP recipients in those cities and towns will automatically receive an allotment of 25% percent of their October benefit amount added to their SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.  SNAP recipients who live in those cities and towns do not need to make an application for this benefit nor do they need to go to their area DHS office.  The SNAP replacement benefits will be automatically added to their EBT cards by Friday, November 9, 2012. 

Those municipalities where fifty percent or more of residents lost power are: Charlestown, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, Richmond, Scituate, South Kingston, Tiverton, and Westerly. 

SNAP benefits can also be replaced on an individual basis.  For SNAP participants who live in all other Rhode Island municipalities and who lost perishable and frozen foods due to Hurricane Sandy, they must submit an application to DHS for SNAP replacement benefits.  Those SNAP recipients must also include proof of a power loss from the storm with their application. 

Such verification may be obtained from a community agency or official such as a Community Action Program, a utility company, or the Red Cross.  The deadline for SNAP recipients in cities and towns that did not suffer widespread, prolonged power outages is November 28th.  (FNS usually allows 10 days from the date of the weather event.  However, due to the widespread impact of Hurricane Sandy, FNS has issued a 20 day extension to all states impacted by the storm, stretching the deadline to November 28th). 

“We appreciate the quick work of the federal Food and Nutrition Service in response to the needs of Rhode Islanders created by the storm,” said Sandra M. Powell, Director of the RI Department of Human Services. “While it was fortunate that SNAP participants received their usual benefit on November 1st, these additional benefits will ensure that they can make up for food that was lost due to the storm and do not fall behind in meeting food needs for their families.”

While SNAP recipients in the 15 named communities do not need to submit an application for replacement benefits nor visit a DHS office, recipients in all other communities may obtain an application for replacement benefits at the local DHS field office or online at www.dhs.ri.gov.

DMChasmail November 05, 2012 at 07:57 PM
DMChasmail 2:57 pm on Monday, November 5, 2012 Cruel comment, "Taxed More." If only you could "walk in other persons' shoes" even if just for a day. Yes, granted, there are those who cheat to receive benefits; they've always been around and always will be, unfortunately. But you're being cruel to how many who have been living a "hell on earth" over the past couple of years. Be thankful for your blessings and stop judging.
Hairsonfire November 07, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I don't understand any of these comments. Maybe because I have a good job and have never been in a position where I needed any government assistance. It seems once you are in that scenario, the victim mentality of "poor me" and "help me" overrides all rationality - why should I work when I can get free money if I answer the DHS questions correctly? I don't know. I just don't know. I have been so fortunate.
deborah villeroel November 07, 2012 at 07:49 PM
what about working people that lost food in the hurricane. i live with my inlaws and was told to stock up on food, which we did, and since we are the on the highest level in staten island knew we weren't going to get any floods, but three transformers went down and didnt have electricity for 8 days which means all freezer foods were spolied. i am talking about meats, fish, and goodies for the kids, as well as stuff in the fridge. what can i apply for???
Hairsonfire November 07, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Home Owners Insurance will likely provide compensation.
BixShadMit980413 November 08, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I must agree with Ira Khay, as I too, am unsuccessfully dealing with the Middletown DHS also. My worker....AND her supervisor, won't return my calls, won't meet with me, etc. I owe thousands of dollars in medical bills that I believe should be covered under my Medical Assistance plan, but I can't get either one to speak to me about it. I was advised to call the Attorney General's Office....because this is ridiculous!! I don't appreciate be treating like the scum of the earth just because I need assistance. I'm not asking for pity from anyone and I'm not playing the Pity card. Just stop judging me when you don't know my situation! We're not ALL out to use the system. I am on Disability...I previously worked up until right before my back surgery....that left me WORSE off than I was! Trust me, I would rather work and earn a living on my own than to receive a "hand out", as some of you seem to think it is. It's SO humiliating each month when I go shopping and use my SNAP card and people look down at you like you're dirt under their finger nails. I'm in my 40's....I'm not a kid who doesn't WANT to work. It gets very lonely and boring staying home all day not able to do what others do, and being in pain 24/7, so please don't judge all of us by the ones who use the system. Good luck to you and your son, Ira Khay....and yes, you DID do the right thing by keeping your precious son! Don't allow these people, who have NO clue what we're going through, to bring you down!

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