Louisiana participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits to purchase “hot” or prepared foods through September 28, 2021, following a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
Normally, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase “hot food products prepared for immediate consumption.” Waiving that restriction is vital in the aftermath of a storm such as Hurricane Ida, where many residents are displaced and cannot access a kitchen to prepare their meals.
The waiver, granted August 30, will allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared foods available at any retailer that accepts EBT cards, whether in Louisiana. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.
The same waiver would apply to Disaster SNAP (or DSNAP) benefits, if and when that program is implemented, and P-EBT benefits
More information about the “hot foods” waiver can be found at http://dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/snap-hot-foods-waiver.
DSNAP has not yet been federally authorized in any Louisiana parishes. DSNAP can be offered only in locations where a disaster has been federally declared, Individual Assistance has been federally approved and FNS has authorized a DSNAP operation.
In the meantime, residents affected by Hurricane Ida are encouraged to register for DSNAP. Registration does not guarantee benefits, but will make the application process easier and quicker for applicants if a DSNAP is approved for their community.
To speed along the application process, residents should also download the free LA Wallet mobile app now at LAWallet.com. LA Wallet provides identity and residency verification required for DSNAP applications.
SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not register or apply.
More information about DSNAP, including how to create an account and register, can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
SNAP recipients not already receiving the maximum amount for their household size will also receive a COVID-related emergency allotment on September 4th to bring their household up to the maximum for the month.
SNAP recipients who lost food purchased with their SNAP benefits due to a power outage of 24 consecutive hours or more may also be eligible for replacement benefits. Recipients do not need to take any action on this at this time. Please stay tuned for additional updates.
More information about SNAP benefits related to Hurricane Ida can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/snap.