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Eastern Kentucky residents can apply for federal food assistance

Justin Hicks

Eastern Kentuckians affected by the recent flooding disaster will be able to apply for food relief this week.

Starting Wednesday, residents and workers in 12 counties can seek assistance through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). The initiative offers funds to buy food such as meat, produce and dairy products at participating grocery stores.

People in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties can apply over the phone by calling Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) at 1-833-371-8570, or by visiting a department office or disaster recovery center.

DCBS is an agency of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Susan Dunlap leads communications for the cabinet. In an email, she said the Department for Community Based Services applied to the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service for the region’s D-SNAP approval.

Many factors are considered in determining D-SNAP eligibility, Dunlap said: “When in doubt, the household (impacted flood victim) should apply.”

She added that in-person applicants will receive an electronic card loaded with funds the same day they are approved. Over-the-phone applicants can choose to receive their card at one of the offices or centers or by mail.

“The Eastern Kentucky families impacted by the devastating flooding have lost everything, and these additional benefits are essential to helping these Kentuckians recover and rebuild,” Governor Andy Beshear said in a press release on Tuesday.

Residents can apply from Aug. 24-31, but DCBS’s phone line and offices will be closed on Sunday, Aug. 28.

The governor’s office also said SNAP recipients can request replacement benefits if previously purchased food was destroyed during the disaster.

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