Hurricane Ida damage

Pictured is damage from Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana residents in parishes affected by Hurricane Ida will be able to apply for federal disaster food assistance.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) announced this week that the state had received federal approval to begin Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations to provide additional food aid to families impacted by Hurricane Ida.

The DSNAP approval applies to 25 Louisiana parishes hit by Hurricane Ida. The virtual application process will run in three phases, beginning Sept. 20

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) approved a DSNAP operation for the following parishes and ZIP codes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin (only lower St. Martin parish ZIP codes 70339 and 70380), St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

Livingston Parish residents can apply during Phase 2 of the application process. 

DSNAP, formerly known as Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.

According to USDA FNS rules, DSNAP cannot begin in communities until all other federal disaster food assistance in a parish has ended (including PODs and Disaster Household Distribution), power and telephone/internet connectivity are restored, mail delivery is in operation, and grocery store shelves are open.

SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Information about SNAP benefits changes related to Hurricane Ida, including replacement benefits for food lost due to power outages, can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/page/snap-updates.

How to Apply

​​Due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone, and benefits cards will be mailed to approved applicants through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a press release.

Residents in the approved parishes can call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center, 1-888-524-3578, to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP. Applicants should call 1-888-524-3578, select their language, prompt 6 and then 1 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English.

Residents are encouraged, but not required, to take the following steps before calling to apply for DSNAP:

-- Pre-register online first. Step-by-step instructions can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

-- Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com

-- Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP

Residents who pre-registered or applied for DSNAP since March 2020 do not need to pre-register again.

Application Schedule

Residents should call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP on their designated day (according to the first letter of their last name) or on the A-Z days, which are open to all residents in the approved parishes and ZIP codes for each phase.

Parishes were assigned to each phase based on power, telephone/internet connectivity, mail delivery and grocery stores that are open at the time the DSNAP request was submitted.

PHASE 1: Sept. 20-25

Parishes: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana

-- Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 20) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F

-- Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept. 21) – G-M

-- Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 22) – N-S

-- Day 4 (Thursday, Sept. 23) – T-Z

-- Day 5 (Friday, Sept. 24) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes

-- Day 6 (Saturday, Sept. 25) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes

PHASE 2: Sept. 27 - Oct. 2

Parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Helena, St. Martin (lower St. Martin Parish ZIPs only 70339 & 70380), St. Mary. and Tangipahoa

-- Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 27) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F

-- Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept. 28) – G-M

-- Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 29) – N-S

-- Day 4 (Thursday, Sept. 30) – T-Z

-- Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 1) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes

-- Day 6 (Saturday, Oct. 2) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes

PHASE 3: Oct. 4-9

Parishes: Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, and Terrebonne

-- Day 1 (Monday, Oct. 4) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F

-- Day 2 (Tuesday, Oct. 5) – G-M

-- Day 3 (Wednesday, Oct. 6) – N-S

-- Day 4 (Thursday, Oct. 7) – T-Z

-- Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 8) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes

-- Day 6 (Saturday, Oct. 9) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes

Other DSNAP Information

When residents call to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses incurred between Aug. 26, 2021, and Sept. 24, 2021.

Most applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application and interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants will also receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.

Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.

Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or by visiting http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.

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