WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today granted flexibility to allow South Carolina residents to replace food purchased with SNAP benefits that was lost due to power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. Over 185,000 impacted households in 26 counties now have until Oct. 15, 2018 to report food loss to the state and request replacement benefits.
“When this many people are facing immediate hardship in South Carolina, it’s crucial for USDA and the state to offer as much flexibility as possible to recover food losses,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps. “This waiver will provide sufficient reporting time for households who are facing power outages, flooding, and other obstacles in the wake of this disaster.”
SNAP regulations normally require households to report food loss within ten days of purchase. However, the state requested a waiver from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to allow households additional time.
The waiver applies to the following counties: Berkeley, Beaufort, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg, and York.
FNS is ready to consider additional waivers and other actions that may be needed to help program participants who have lost food due to the disaster and to simplify the application process for affected households, upon request from the state.
For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, these programs include the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, the National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov.