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Texas expands food benefits for Harvey victims

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AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will begin offering disaster food relief, commonly known as D-SNAP, for victims of Hurricane Harvey starting Wednesday, September 13. The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides short-term food benefits for eligible families recovering from a disaster. D-SNAP is available to eligible residents of the counties with a federal disaster declaration and weren't receiving benefits through regular SNAP at the time of the disaster.
 
"The devastation from Hurricane Harvey will impact Texas families for years to come," said Governor Abbott. "In this time of need, this program will help Texans get back on their feet faster, as they will have one less thing to worry about. The State of Texas will continue do everything it can to help Texans rebuild their lives as quickly as possible."
 
Texas HHSC will begin offering the benefits in stages, beginning with an 11-county area 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.
 
"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."
 
Residents of the initial 11-county area must apply in person. 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, click here.
 
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.
 
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 click here or call the Lone Star Help Desk at 1-800-777-7EBT (1-800-777-7328).

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