DSNAP phones flooded with up to 300 calls per second on its first day, state says
BATON ROUGE - The state agency running Louisiana's hotline taking calls for disaster food assistance was overrun by calls on its first day taking requests from Hurricane Ida victims.
On Monday, Louisianans spread across 25 parishes reported having trouble connecting to the state's phone lines facilitating Disaster SNAP benefits applications, prompting officials to extend their hours for phone requests that day.
The Department of Children and Family Services said in a statement Tuesday it initially believed the troubles were tied to a server issue but later determined they were caused by the sheer numbers of calls. A spokesperson said phones were averaging as many as "250 to 300 incoming calls per second" at points.
In total, the department handled 11,339 calls in its first day, more than the entire run of some previous DSNAP operations.
DCFS has created a schedule for applicants to call and asks that residents only call in on the day which corresponds with their last name on that schedule.
"We want to stress that it's imperative that you only call if it's your day -- and your week -- to call. If not, it jams the lines for everyone else. And if you get a busy signal, please be patient and wait a few minutes before trying again," the department said Tuesday. "Today (Tuesday, September 21) we're accepting phone applications for G-M last names for the following parishes: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana."
Those unable to connect on their assigned day this week will have additional days to call in.
You can find the full schedule and more details for applying here.
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