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Texas expands food benefits for Harvey victims

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it will begin offering disaster food relief, commonly known as D-SNAP, for victims of Hurricane Harvey starting Wednesday.

Residents of the initial 11-county area — which includes Tyler County residents — must apply in person. Applications will be taken for those counties based on a rolling alphabetical order between Sept. 13 and 19. People will need to apply on certain days depending on the first letter of their last name.

Tyler County residents should apply in person at 930 N. Magnolia in Woodville

Date Last name
Sept. 13 A - C
Sept. 14 D - H
Sept. 15 I - M
Sept. 16 N - R
Sept. 17 S - Z
Sept. 18, 19 Anyone

For detailed instructions and updates, go to www.hhs.texas.gov/d-snap.

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides short-term food benefits for eligible families recovering from a disaster.

D-SNAP is available to eligible people who are residents of one of the counties with a federal disaster declaration and weren't receiving benefits through regular SNAP at the time of the disaster.

Recipients will be given a Lone Star Card that will be loaded within three days with funds to purchase food from most grocery stores.
"We have Texas families who lost everything," said Texas HHS Executive Commissioner Charles Smith. "This puts a card in their hands so they can buy the food they need. Nothing is more important than feeding and taking care of our families."

Texas HHS will begin offering the benefits in stages, starting with an 11-county area that has smaller populations that can be served through the health and human services offices in those counties.

Larger-population sites, such as in Houston and Corpus Christi, will launch in the coming days with special sites to accommodate large volumes of people who would not be able to be efficiently served through a local HHS office. HHS has asked local government officials in those areas to identify sites that are convenient and large enough to handle the expected volumes of applicants. HHS will announce those sites as soon as possible.

"We are committed to rolling out D-SNAP quickly to serve all of the impacted areas," Smith said.

Residents of the affected counties may be eligible if they suffered damage to their home or business, loss of income or disaster-related expenses. Disaster-related expenses can include home repairs, temporary shelter or evacuation expenses. Visit the Tyler County Booster's YouTube channel for more about D-Snap and other recovery benefits in an interview with Rep. James White.