Texas expands food benefits for Harvey victims

Texas Health and Human Services announced today that it will begin offering disaster food relief, commonly known as D-SNAP, for victims of Hurricane Harvey starting Wednesday.

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides short-term food benefits for eligible families recovering from a disaster. D-SNAP is available to eligible people who are residents of one of the counties with a federal disaster declaration and weren’t receiving benefits through regular SNAP at the time of the disaster. Recipients will be given a Lone Star Card that will be loaded within three days with funds to purchase food from most grocery stores.

“We have Texas families who lost everything,” said Texas HHS Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. “This puts a card in their hands so they can buy the food they need. Nothing is more important than feeding and taking care of our families.”

Texas HHS will begin offering the benefits in stages, starting with an 11-county area that has smaller populations that can be served through the health and human services offices in those counties.

Larger-population sites, such as in Houston and Corpus Christi, will launch in the coming days with special sites to accommodate large volumes of people who would not be able to be efficiently served through a local HHS office. HHS has asked local government officials in those areas to identify sites that are convenient and large enough to handle the expected volumes of applicants. HHS will announce those sites as soon as possible.

“We are committed to rolling out D-SNAP quickly to serve all of the impacted areas,” Smith said.

Residents of the affected counties may be eligible if they suffered damage to their home or business, loss of income or disaster-related expenses. Disaster-related expenses can include home repairs, temporary shelter or evacuation expenses.

Residents of the initial 11-county area must apply in person from the following locations. Applications will be taken for those counties based on a rolling alphabetical order between Sept. 13 and 19. For detailed instructions and the alphabetical order listing, go to www.hhs.texas.gov/d-snap.

Dewitt County 
106 E. French St., Cuero

Gonzales County 
1600 Sara Dewitt Drive, Suite 200, Gonzales

Jasper County 
314 N. Herndon, Kirbyville

Karnes County 
417 S. Panna Maria Ave., Karnes City

Kleberg County 
1413 E. Corral, Kingsville

Lavaca County 
1309 E. Cemetery Road, Hallettsville

Matagorda County 
1700 Merlin St., Bay City

Newton County 
314 N. Herndon, Kirbyville (Jasper County)

Orange County 
2222 Gloria Drive, Orange

Sabine County 
2015 Worth St., Hemphill

Tyler County 
930 N. Magnolia, Woodville

People will need to apply on certain days depending on the first letter of their last name.

Date                  Last name

Sept. 13             A – C
Sept. 14             D – H
Sept. 15             I – M
Sept. 16             N – R
Sept. 17             S – Z
Sept. 18, 19       Anyone

Texas previously rolled out early food benefits and replacement food benefits due to Hurricane Harvey. SNAP recipients in the affected counties had their September benefits automatically loaded Sept. 1 onto their Lone Star Cards. They also saw a percentage of their August benefits automatically added Sept. 2 to their Lone Star Cards to replace food that was lost during the storm.

Households must bring identification when applying for D-SNAP. Common types of verification include a driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.

Eligible households will receive up to two months of benefits when their cards load. The benefit amount is equivalent to the maximum amount normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, within three days of applying.

People who purposely provide wrong information to receive disaster benefits may be denied benefits, and legal action may be taken against them.

More Information

People with questions about D-SNAP, including those who have special needs, should dial 2-1-1 and select option 6. For other storm-related services, including shelters, dial 2-1-1 and selection option 5. For questions about TANF, Medicaid or CHIP, dial 2-1-1 and select option 2.

To check benefit amounts, recipients can visit YourTexasBenefits.com or call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).