Food help available to victims

COVINGTON — Newton County storm victims who suffered damage to their homes and loss of food supplies may qualify for a special food stamp program, according to Rachel Taylor, director of the Newton County Department of Family and Children's Services.

The Georgia Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, is offering a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program designed to provide food stamp benefits to people who might not ordinarily qualify for the program.

Newton County is one of 25 Georgia counties approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive assistance.

In order to qualify for the D-SNAP program, residents must apply in person or have an authorized representative apply for them and have been a resident of or worked in one of the 25 counties on April 27. Applicants must have:

• disaster damage to their homes;

• loss of food;

• expenses related to protecting their homes; or

• lost income as a result of the disaster; AND

• meet income and liquid asset (cash or money in the bank) eligibility.

Individuals and families applying for the D-SNAP must submit some form of identification, such as a photo ID or documents that contain your name and/or address to verify identity and residence in the disaster-designated county. However, if a person does not have identifying documents due to storm damage, they can bring someone to verify their identity.

Individuals or families who qualify will receive a one-time benefit based on household size. After completing the application, those qualified will be issued an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and funds will be available within four days after the application is filed. Any Newton County individual or family already receiving food stamps may request replacement and supplemental food benefits if they meet the storm damage criteria.

The D-SNAP program will be offered through the Newton County DFCS office, located at 4117 Mill St., Covington, from Tuesday, May 17, through Thursday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Call 1-866-371-8222 for more information.