Food Stamp aid coming to Linden

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LINDEN – The Marengo County Department of Human Resources has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service to operate a Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“We are part of the declaration for disaster for the tornadoes for April 15 and April 27,” Ellen Wallace, director of Marengo County DHR said of the county’s qualification for the D-SNAP initiative.

This program is designed to provide food benefits to people who might not ordinarily qualify for the Food Assistance Program.

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To qualify for the benefits, residents of Marengo County must apply in person or have an authorized representative apply for them.

“There are people who are not going to be able to come for themselves,” Wallace said. “Somebody can come and do it for them.”

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 limits composed of net household income plus available liquid resources (cash or money in the bank).

“For somebody who lost everything, it is not going to be much,” Wallace said. “But at least it will be a little bit.”

Individuals/families must have been a resident of Marengo County on April 15 to apply for assistance in Marengo County. Current food assistance recipients may not apply for benefits at the D-SNAP location.

Marengo County DHR will be accepting applications May 26-27 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Church, 702 7th Ave. in Linden.

Individuals and families applying for the D-SNAP must submit some form of identification, such as a photo I.D. 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.

“We know a little bit about the area. This is supposed to be for people who were actually victims of these of storms,” Wallace said. “For somebody who lost everything, it is not going to be much. But at least it will be little bit.”

Individuals/families that qualify will receive a one-time benefit based on household size. After completing the application, qualified individuals and families will be issued an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Benefits can be accessed using the EBT card after they are posted to the account. Benefits will be available within four days after the application is filed.

All states operate the food assistance program and D-SNAP according to regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.