Posted: Sep 5, 2012 4:41 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Sep 5, 2012 4:41 PM
ASCENSION PARISH - Beginning today, residents affected by Hurricane Isaac and living in parishes approved for federal aid were able to apply for disaster food stamps.
More than 150,000 people pre-applied for the program, called DSNAP. It provides help for eligible households who do not receive regular food stamp benefits due to lost income or damages following a natural disaster.
The assistance applies to residents in Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany parishes so far.
Charlene Champagne is from Ascension Parish, and suffered extensive wind and water damage from Isaac.
"Loss of food, lost time at work, so it's been kind of bad," said Champagne. "Any little bit - any little bit helps."
Other residents like Donna Collins says today's application process was fast after she pre-applied for stamps.
"I'll buy some food for me and my baby," said Collins. "Just put back the food and hopefully we can get back home once they put our lights on."
Each stamp amount depends on the level of income and how much money is saved by each household.
"You leave with a card that has money on it, and if the grocery store is across the street and it's operational, you can walk across the street and use [the card]," said Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Representative Charlie Dierks.
Residents in Ascension who need to sign up for disaster food stamps should report to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center. Those in Livingston should go to the Am-Vets hall on Hwy 42 in Springfield. All centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Enrollment will happen by the first letter of your last name.
Today, those with last names beginning with "A" through "C" will be seen until 6 pm tonight.
Both locations will also be open next Monday and Tuesday for those who miss their scheduled time.
You can pre-apply online or by calling 888-524-3578.
The federal government also recently approved a waiver for the assistance to cover hot food purchases from groceries or delis because people are still without power or homes to cook in.