Tuesday, June 20, 2023
- USDA offers D-SNAP eligibility for Guam residents affected by Super Typhoon Mawar since May 22, 2023.
- Around 29,000 households could qualify if they meet disaster-related criteria.
- D-SNAP application period in Guam: June 20, 2023 – June 26, 2023.
- Existing SNAP households ineligible for D-SNAP but may receive supplemental SNAP benefits.
- USDA actions also include waivers for ongoing SNAP households and benefit replacements.
- 10-day reporting requirement waiver approved for food lost due to power outages from typhoon.
Unedited Press Release Text:
WASHINGTON, June 20, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that low-income residents of Guam recovering from Super Typhoon Mawar beginning May 22, 2023, could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that approximately 29,000 households that may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
“USDA is committed to making sure that those affected by Super Typhoon Mawar get the food they need,” Vilsack said. “Helping residents of Guam get back on their feet is a top priority, and we will continue working to expedite access to USDA’s nutrition assistance programs.”
To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must either live or work in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will receive one month of benefits – equal to the maximum monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size – that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. Guam will operate its D-SNAP application beginning June 20, 2023 through June 26, 2023. Officials will share additional information about D-SNAP application dates and locations through local media.
The timing of D-SNAP varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster, Vilsack said, but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing, and resources are in place.
Although current SNAP households are not eligible for D-SNAP, USDA has also approved Guam to automatically issue supplemental SNAP benefits to current SNAP households, bringing their allotment up to the maximum amount for their household size if they don’t already receive that amount.
The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a battery of USDA actions taken to help residents of Guam cope with Super Typhoon Mawar and its aftermath, which also include:
- Approving a waiver to extend certification periods and waive periodic reporting requirements for ongoing SNAP households for up to six months due to the impact of Super Typhoon Mawar.
- Approving a mass replacements waiver to impacted households. This waiver allows households to receive replacement of benefits lost due to power outages, flooding, and high-speed winds as a result of Super Typhoon Mawar that began on May 22, 2023.
- Approving a waiver for the 10-day reporting requirement for food purchased with SNAP benefits that was lost as a result of power outages due to Super Typhoon Mawar that began on May 22, 2023.
For more information about this and other available aid, residents of Guam should contact the Department of Health and Social Services or FEMA. For more information about Guam SNAP, visit dphss.guam.gov/bureau-of-economic-security.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 16 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP. Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and well-being. FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022. To learn more about FNS, visit www.fns.usda.gov and follow @USDANutrition.