Friday, 31 March 2023

USDA approves SNAP/CalFresh food replacement in California counties due to severe storms and power outages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that California households impacted by power outages as a result of severe winter storms that began January 1 through Jan. 10, 2023, could be eligible for replacement of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP/CalFresh benefits.

This is one of many recent steps USDA has taken to ensure California residents in need have food to eat.

Rather than require SNAP/CalFresh households to report food losses individually, USDA allowed the state of California to approve automatic mass replacements for residents in 168 zip codes in the following 39 counties: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Kings, Lake, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba.

SNAP/CalFresh participants in areas hardest hit by the disaster may have a portion of their January benefits replaced.

SNAP/CalFresh recipients residing in other affected areas may request replacement benefits by filing an affidavit with the local office attesting to disaster-related loss.

Additionally, USDA approved California Department of Social Services’ (CDSS) request to operate Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in nine counties in response to severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that began on Dec. 27, 2022.

President Joseph R. Biden issued a major disaster declaration designating Merced, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz counties as eligible for federal individual assistance on Jan. 17, 2023.

Additional amendments were issued to designate Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, San Joaquin, Calaveras, and San Mateo counties as eligible for federal individual assistance.

The state plans to operate the D-SNAP from Feb. 6 through Feb. 15, 2023. More details can be found on the CDSS website.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service works to end hunger and improve food and nutrition security through a suite of more than 15 nutrition assistance programs, such as the school breakfast and lunch programs, WIC and SNAP.

Together, these programs serve 1 in 4 Americans over the course of a year, promoting consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, and affordable food essential to optimal health and wellbeing.

FNS also provides science-based nutrition recommendations through the co-development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White House Conference to Promote and Elevate Nutrition Security: The Role of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service,” highlights ways the agency will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy, released in conjunction with the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September 2022.

To learn more about FNS, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/ and follow @USDANutrition.

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