USDA approves Disaster SNAP food benefits for low-income Nebraska flood victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Low-income Nebraskans recovering from recent flooding could be eligible for food benefits through the Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) program approved Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The department also approved the state’s request for temporary flexibility in meeting school lunch meal pattern requirements.

Households that may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP, if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

“USDA is committed to helping Nebraskans get back on their feet in whatever capacity we can,” Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps said. “The D-SNAP program is an important step forward to help flood impacted families get food on the table.”

D-SNAP eligible households in the affected areas will receive one month of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, to meet their food needs. To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria.

The timing of D-SNAP implementation varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP program, a state must ensure that proper public information, staffing and resources are in place.

USDA is also allowing school lunch and breakfast meal pattern flexibility for schools in Nebraska through April 26.

For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit fns.usda.gov/disaster.