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DCFS tries to ease wait times for applicants in need of disaster food stamps

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BATON ROUGE- The flood of phone calls continues at the Department of Children and Family Services as they work to ease the long wait times for frustrated callers in need of disaster food stamps.

"We struggle without a hurricane and we needed something to fill up our freezers for the weeks ahead so we can have food," said DSNAP applicant John Chenvert.

Chenvert says he spent hours on the phone trying to get help in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, only to be denied his application.

"Tons of families are getting denied, as well, and they're frustrated as much as I am," Chenvert said.

Wednesday DCFS extended its application process by three days. Call centers will be open Oct. 11-13.

The opportunity gives Chenvert and many others a second chance.

"The extension helps because now we can file an appeal," Chenvert said.

The department says they've already processed 109,503 cases. Out of those applications, 80,947 were approved and 28,556 were denied.

"We realize that not everybody has been approved for DSNAP and not everybody will," said assistant secretary Shavana Howard, trying to clear up confusion over eligibility. "We look at your available net income, available resources, cash resources, as well as disaster-related expenses. We look at all of those moving parts to determine eligibility."

This week, the DSNAP program is in phase two. Residents are assigned a day to apply based on the first letter of their last name.

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