This is a long but informative official statement from Liberty County DFACS Director Shawn Brown regarding replacement Food Stamp benefits
Some of you have been reaching out to us with questions about what DFCS is doing to help those in our community who lost food during the power outage caused by Hurricane Matthew.
If the person is already receiving SNAP (aka Food Stamps) and they live in Liberty, Bryan, Effingham, Chatham, Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh it looks like DFCS will be approved to complete a Mass Issuance of Benefits to replace food that they purchased with their benefits from September or the first few days of October. Consideration is also being given to add Long and Bulloch counties along with several Region 9 counties. A determination regarding the Mass Issuance will be made within 48 hours. Once we know for sure there will be a press release and other communication that will go out with the information and instructions.
Until we officially receive approval for a Mass Issuance of Benefits, individuals need to come into the DFCS office and fill out a Form 841. The guidelines indicate that the individual provides a letter from their power company verifying that they were without power. However, this is expected to be a challenge as GA Power, Canoochee EMC, and Coastal EMC most likely do not have the resources available to divert to individually verify account information and provide them with a letter. This is an issue we are working on with the State Office and if we are approved for a Mass Issuance of Benefits individuals will not need the verification letter or to complete the Form 841. At that point the Mass Issuance is approved the SNAP Benefits will be issued within 10 days. For now though please tell them to come in to the office and complete the Form 841.
In regards to those who are applying for SNAP for the first time due to a loss associated with hurricane Matthew or any other reason, as of right now the state of Georgia has not been given presidential approval for the SNAP Disaster Program. North Carolina is the only state that has received approval for the program thus far. Those in need can apply like always and their application will be assessed to see if they meet the standard requirements for the program. As for immediate food assistance, I would recommend that people contact the local food banks and churches.
We have already shifted our staff resources to focus on assisting those coming in that are in need.
We will provide with you more information as we are able.
Thanks in advance,
Shawn M. Brown, M.A.
Liberty/Long County DFCS