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February 7, 2018

Hurricane Florence & Food Stamps

Hurricane Florence & Food Stamps

Have you been affected by Hurricane Florence? Do you already have SNAP (also known as Food Stamps)? The United States Department of Agriculture and South Carolina Department of Social Services may be able to replace the food you lost during Hurricane Florence!

The USDA announced today that people who receive SNAP and have lost food due to Hurricane Florence have until October 15, 2018 to report their food losses and request replacement benefits. The USDA believes over 185,000 households across our state have been affected by Hurricane Florence and are given some flexibility if they have lost food due to power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.

Typically, SNAP regulations require households to report food loss within ten days of sale. But, South Carolina requested a waiver from the USDA to allow households more time. If you live in the following counties, this applies to you: Berkeley, Beaufort, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg and York. For more information on USDA help during disasters, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.

During an emergency or disaster, like a hurricane or ice storm, the staff at South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) provides immediate support to South Carolina citizens. DSS is the state organization that works with the USDA to provide SNAP benefits to South Carolina. They also work to continue important resources and services like childcare after a disaster. DSS offers disaster preparedness information and training throughout the year for foster parents, group homes and childcare providers in South Carolina.

After a disaster, DSS coordinates mass care operations. They work with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, DHEC and other state agencies and volunteer relief organizations to coordinate the capability to meet basic needs like shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, disaster welfare inquiries and emergency social services during a disaster situation. DSS staff even supports the operation of shelters across the state.

What is SNAP? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is also known as Food Stamps. SNAP is a national program that helps individuals and families buy food. SNAP benefits can buy food at grocery stores, convenience stores and more. SNAP benefits are distributed monthly on EBT cards (Electronic Benefits Transfer card), which works like a debit card.

If you would like to apply for SNAP or other resources like Medicaid and Welvista, a program that provides prescription drugs to
qualifying individuals, SC Thrive can help! You can apply for SNAP two ways with SC Thrive.
(1) You can CLICK HERE to find an SC Thrive Partner Site to apply in person.
(2) You can call our Contact Center at 1.800.726.8774 to apply for SNAP over the phone!

You can learn more about what help you can apply for with SC Thrive HERE!

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