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Sept-20-11 Hughes announces extension of disaster food assistance for storm-impacted families
TRENTON, NJ – Registration for the disaster-related Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (D-SNAP) to assist county residents impacted by Hurricane Irene has been extended, said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. This one-time food benefit will now be available through Sept. 26 to eligible Mercer County residents who experienced extreme material losses during the recent hurricane and/or subsequent flooding.
In conjunction with the Mercer County Board of Social Services in Trenton, additional County sites have been added to assist residents expedite the application and approval processes. These sites are: El Centro, 327 South Broad Street, Trenton, on Sept. 21, 22, 23 and 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We had scores of people turn out to our remote sites to apply for food assistance as a result of their losses from Hurricane Irene,” Hughes said. “We are extending this benefit another week in order to reach people who may not have been able to register at one of our other sites.”
Individuals and families currently not receiving SNAP benefits and whose storm-related expenses include damages beyond the loss of food due to power outages may be eligible. Those in disaster-declared areas and already enrolled with SNAP must visit the above identified site to receive a one-time supplemental benefit based upon a federal determination of areas that lost power for more than four consecutive hours.
The D-SNAP application process eases requirements around documents necessary to apply and weighs disaster-related costs with available liquid resources when considering eligibility. Benefits are electronically applied to a card similar to a debit/credit card for the purchase of certain food items.
In addition to D-SNAP, county residents also are encouraged to register for FEMA and to check www.nj211.org for valuable disaster-related information, including how to acquire clean-up kits, schedule home inspections and exercise renters’ rights. The NJ Department of Health and Senior Services also has a call center for public health concerns related to flooding at 1-866-234-0964. Its hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.