DSS replacing food stamps; no DSNAP yet

By Chris Berendt - [email protected]

Upon opening offices Thursday, the Sampson County Department of Social Services was inundated with current Food and Nutritional Services (FNS) recipients seeking replacement benefits for their Electronic Benefits Transfer card. DSS workers also heard from plenty of people inquiring about the Disaster Food and Nutritional Services Program — that is not in effect yet.

“We heard the DSNAP program may start sooner than we were thinking,” Sampson County DSS director Sarah Bradshaw. “It will not be the first part of next week though.”

Sampson DSS will be receiving directives from the state in regards to the implementation of the Disaster Food and Nutritional Services Program, also called DSNAP. Dates for the program have not been confirmed, but it is not weeks away as previously believed.

“The Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Program is separate and will not be in operation for a few weeks,” Sampson County DSS director Sarah Bradshaw stated. “We will know more each week about this program as the state will be sharing with us. DSNAP is not for current FNS recipients. Anyone can apply, but they should be aware that we do request income for all people living in the household and other eligibility criteria is involved.”

Bradshaw stressed that details on the program have not yet been received.

Currently it is two operations: Current active recipients can request a replacement, in person or by phone; and, as is the case every day, anyone not receiving FNS can apply by visiting DSS or online via e-PASS.

She said many were confusing the regular benefits and the disaster benefits.

“No one can apply for DSNAP yet because the state has not started that yet. They have to go through several steps with USDA before that can begin,” Bradshaw stated. “People confuse standard daily procedures for replacement requests (due to loss of food from power outage) for current recipients with DSNAP.”

Hundreds came in first thing Thursday to request a replacement of their FNS benefits. The replacement request is essentially an affidavit that is completed and signed that addresses food loss by the current EBT recipient. It is not an application.

“People who came in for DSNAP left without service,” said Bradshaw. “This will be the case until we begin that program.”

By Chris Berendt

[email protected]

Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.

Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.