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Kentuckians impacted by severe weather can apply for disaster SNAP benefits to offset loss of food

Jonese Franklin
/
WFPL

Kentucky residents using federal food assistance can apply for reimbursements after severe weather caused widespread power outages across the state.

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will allow anyone receiving SNAP benefits to apply for disaster reimbursement after tornadoes and strong winds caused a state of emergency to be declared in Kentucky on May 26. Residents who lost food during the storms are encouraged to call 211 to receive information on SNAP reimbursements or local food pantries that can provide relief.

Ann Woolbright, a manager at United Way of Southern Kentucky, said recipients can apply for benefits at any SNAP office in the state.

“It is called the D-SNAP program and that is short for ‘disaster SNAP program,’” Woolbright said. “How it works is you only have 10 days to apply for it. Your power had to have been out for at least four hours, you had to have received SNAP benefits for the month of May, and they will replace those SNAP benefits.”

Utility companies have restored power across Kentucky, but for residents who on a tight budget, the cost of replacing perishable foods can be overwhelming. Woolbright urges anyone to inquire about resources that are available in their community, regardless of their status as a SNAP recipient.

“We have been getting several calls over the last couple days, people asking about food pantries in the area, because we can give them information about local food pantries, and that is for even people who don’t qualify for SNAP.”

For community members who are interested in helping, Woolbright urged residents to donate canned goods or non-perishable foods to their local food pantries, or to consider volunteering at a pantry.

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Jacob Martin is a Reporter at WKU Public Radio. He joined the newsroom from Kansas City, where he covered the city’s underserved communities and general assignments at NPR member station, KCUR. A Louisville native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, New York before moving back to Kentucky. Email him at Jacob.martin@wku.edu.