Ct Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that over 73,000 low-income Connecticut households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) will receive storm-related food replacement benefits on Saturday.
The state’s application for $4.5 million in SNAP replacement benefits for residents in areas hit hardest by power outages and flooding resulting from Storm Sandy was approved in two stages this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
“For many families, the replacement of these benefits can mean the difference between having a meal and going hungry,” said Governor Malloy. “I thank the Obama Administration and, particularly, USDA Food and Nutrition Service officials for their swift and thorough response to Connecticut’s appeal for replacement food benefits. The fact that we can work together so closely at the state and federal levels is a critical factor in bringing genuine relief to Connecticut residents.”
Connecticut joins Rhode Island, New York, Maryland and Virginia in gaining federal approval to issue automatic, replacement benefits to eligible households in certain areas affected by the storm.
The replacement benefits were approved for SNAP households in all municipalities within Fairfield and New London counties, in addition to 49 other Connecticut towns where more than 50% of residents lost power for at least four hours.
A total of 73,383 SNAP-enrolled households (over 130,000 people) will automatically receive 25% of their October benefit amount in electronic benefit transfer accounts this Saturday. SNAP benefits can be used only for federally-approved food items at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
“This equates to replacement benefits ranging from $4 to over $300, depending on income and household size,” said Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby of the Department of Social Services, the administering agency for SNAP. “The average replacement benefit is estimated at $62.”
The automatic benefit increase will go to SNAP-enrolled households in the following cities and towns (all of Fairfield and New London Counties and 49 additional municipalities):
- Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Shelton, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, Wilton
New London County
- Bozrah, Colchester, East Lyme, Franklin, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Lebanon, Lisbon, Lyme, Montville, New London, Norwich, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Preston, Salem, Sprague, Stonington, Voluntown, Waterford
- Ashford, Avon, Barkhamsted, Bethany, Bethlehem, Bolton, Branford, Bridgewater, Canterbury, Chaplin, Chester , Clinton, Colebrook, Columbia, Cornwall, Coventry, Deep River, East Haddam, East Haven, Eastford, Essex, Glastonbury, Guilford, Haddam, Harwinton, Hebron, Hampton, Kent, Killingworth, Madison, Mansfield, Marlborough, Milford, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, North Branford, Orange, Oxford, Roxbury, Salisbury, Scotland, Seymour, Sterling, Tolland, Westbrook, Willington, Windham, Woodbury.
DSS officials used state power outage and damage assessments to determine the geographical areas to be covered by SNAP replacement benefits, in accordance with federal program guidelines. Commissioner Bremby noted that Connecticut’s application for a federal waiver for mass issuance of replacement benefits was submitted and approved in two stages as additional cities and towns were identified as eligible under the federal methodology.
Individual requests for replacement benefits
SNAP recipients who lost food as a result of Storm Sandy can also make a special request for replacement benefits, regardless of where they live in Connecticut. Individual requests may be made for reimbursement of the cost of food originally purchased with SNAP benefits in October and spoiled through power outage or other Sandy-related damage.
For information on the individual SNAP benefit replacement process, please visit www.211ct.org or call 2-1-1. Storm-related food loss must be reported by November 28, 2012, at 4:30 p.m.
The federal government approved an extended timeframe for this process for Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, is the nation’s main anti-hunger program for low-income individuals and families. In Connecticut, the program currently enrolls 212,000 households.
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