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Here's how SNAP recipients can replace spoiled or damaged food

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) was approved to issue a mass replacement for those who did not receive an early release of benefits.

TAMPA, Fla — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance recipients who suffered losses or damage of food items due to Hurricane Ian can now request to have them replaced.

Who's eligible for SNAP Food Replacement?

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) was approved to issue a mass replacement for those who did not receive an early release of benefits in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole or Volusia counties.

Households that would normally receive SNAP benefits between Oct. 1 and Oct. 14 received their benefits for October early on Sept. 27 to help with storm preparation.

In order to be eligible for the replacement, that food must have been lost during the storm for those in the impacted counties.

Under federal guidelines, the DCF cannot process a mass replacement of the benefits. Replacement requests can be made online.

The DCF has yet to receive approval for disaster-SNAP benefits to help other individuals and families in the impacted counties.  

How to request SNAP Food Replacement

Those who are eligible will need to fill out a form with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • County 
  • Case number
  • Monetary value of food loss
  • Date of food loss
  • Personal contact information

Visit the DCF website to fill out the request form.

Other federal assistance

FEMA has opened an online application for disaster assistance for those in the affected counties. Visit their website and enter your zip code to see if you qualify for individual assistance.

Also, pods handing out food and water have been established in several key areas most affected by Ian, including Fort Myers and Charlottesville.  

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