Disaster food assistance now available in Holmes/Washington Counties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has initiated the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in 12 counties to assist communities impacted by Hurricane Michael.

DCF assisted approximately 10,000 families in the first round of D-SNAP events in Bay, Franklin, Gulf and Taylor counties Oct. 31- Nov. 4.

DCF will operate sites in Bonifay and Chipley Nov. 14-18. DCF will be at the Old Bonifay Elementary School (307 W. 5th Ave) in Bonifay from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and the Old Chipley High School (680 2nd Street) in Chipley from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

You are strongly encouraged to pre-register and take advantage of the phone application option. That window is open for Holmes and Washington County residents until November 18.

To qualify for D-SNAP, applicants must have lived or worked in one of the counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance on October 10, and not be receiving food assistance through the regular SNAP program.

Additionally, eligible individuals and families must have suffered a disaster-related loss, such as damage to their homes or self-employment property, loss of food, reduction or loss of income, or have incurred other disaster-related expenses. Applicants must also be financially eligible. DCF will provide or mail Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to eligible individuals and families to use at authorized USDA food retailers.

DCF strongly encourages individuals and authorized representatives to pre-register online. Pre-registration is a brief application process that adds your information to the system in advance of your local site visit. D-SNAP pre-registration will be available on the D-SNAP website and open for people in need of food assistance in eligible counties prior to the phone and on-site events.

Pre-registration will be available prior to the opening of the local site. Individuals, families, and authorized representatives that pre-register must still call or visit a D-SNAP site to be interviewed. Individuals may also apply at D-SNAP site locations without pre-registering.

Applicants who opt to visit an on-site event to complete the application process should attend in their county of residence and only one person per household needs to visit the on-site event. Additional individuals attending may contribute to longer lines and extended service times. Each site will have designated areas for people with special needs.

Current food assistance participants should not pre-register, apply over the phone, or visit the local D-SNAP site. DCF added additional October benefits to current client EBT cards in the 12 impacted counties. DCF ordered an early release of food assistance benefits for those Florida residents in the 35 counties included in Governor Scott’s pre-landfall emergency order who would have received normal SNAP benefits in October. DCF also waived restrictions on purchasing hot prepared food with SNAP benefits through October 31 statewide to assist customers who evacuated to another area or suffered storm damage to their home.

We've provided a link to the D-SNAP website attached to this article. Click the link for more information on pre-registration, site locations, and hours of operation.