BY MICHELLE MILLHOLLON
Capitol news bureau
September 05, 2012
Beginning Wednesday, state officials will start handing out disaster food stamps in parishes hit hard by Hurricane Isaac, including Ascension and Livingston parishes.
More than 100,000 pre-applications were filed for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps. The benefits help low-to-moderate-income households buy groceries after a catastrophic event.
The assistance applies to residents in Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes.
The state Department of Children and Family Services wants the federal government to extend the storm relief to St. Charles Parish as well.
The disaster food stamp sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., generally Wednesday through Tuesday. With the exception of the final two days, applicants will be seen on a staggered basis, with the first letter of their last name determining which day they should show up to receive benefits.
First will be people with surnames beginning with A, B or C. They will be seen Wednesday. Surnames D through G will be seen Thursday; H through L, Friday; M through R, Saturday; and S through Z, Sunday.
Anyone can show up on Monday or Tuesday.
The sites are geared toward storm victims who do not already receive food stamps. Regular food stamp recipients will get additional benefits automatically loaded onto their cards.
The state wants hurricane victims to pre-apply by calling (888) 524-3578 or logging onto http://www.dcfs.la.gov/preapply. Pre-application requires a Social Security number and date of birth for each household member, address, monthly income and amount of available cash on hand.
At the disaster food stamp distribution sites, applicants will need photo identification.
The state Department of Children and Family Services said 10 sites will open Wednesday. They are:
- Ascension Parish: Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 St. Landry Road, Gonzales.
- Jefferson Parish: Alario Center, 2000 Segnette Blvd., Westwego.
- Lafourche Parish: Peltier Park, 151 Peltier Park, Thibodaux.
- Livingston Parish: Amvets hall, 26890 La. 42, Springfield.
- Orleans Parish: University of New Orleans, 6801 Franklin Ave., New Orleans.
- St. John the Baptist: New Wine Christian Church, 1929 W. Airline Highway, LaPlace.
- Plaquemines: Exceleration Church, 202 Woodland Highway, Belle Chasse.
- St. Bernard: Christian Fellowship Church, 5816 E. Judge Perez Drive, Violet.
- St. Tammany: YMCA, 71256 Francis Road, Covington, and First Baptist Church, 16333 La. 1085, Covington.
The sites in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany parishes will be closed Sunday; people with last names starting with S through Z should come on Monday.
The state Department of Children and Family Services received a waiver to allow food stamp and disaster food stamp recipients to purchase hot food with their benefits.
The waiver, which expires Sept. 30, was sought because Isaac left so many people without power.
Following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, more than 600,000 households received a total of $208 million in disaster food stamps.