Currently NC DHHS has NOT activated “Disaster” Food & Nutrition Services (FNS). Bladen County DSS is unable to accept applications for this program until this activation happens. If and when this is activated, Bladen County will announce it immediately along with relevant instructions. This Disaster FNS allows for one-time benefits related to a disaster event.
Those currently receiving FNS can apply for “ Replacement” of some of their benefits awarded in the most recent benefit period. This replacement is only for benefits from the most recent benefit period and related only to reasonable loss of perishable foods. Replacement application must be made to Bladen DSS by October 18, 2016 (within 10 calendar days of the beginning of the disaster).
If current recipients of FNS receive “Replacement” FNS benefits, they are not eligible to also receive “Disaster” FNS benefits. Bladen DSS FNS specialists can advise recipients on the details of how best to proceed with this decision.
As always, any household that has lost food due to Hurricane Matthew may apply for regular Food & Nutrition Benefits, which will go through the usual review process using standard eligibility requirements.
NC DHHS is currently requesting “Disaster” Food & Nutrition Services Benefits from USDA. While the President has declared North Carolina a disaster state, this is not the same as the USDA, which controls FNS programs, declaring North Carolina a disaster state for FNS. Residents should keep in mind that the USDA determination of a disaster is a process that can take an undetermined amount of time.
Please continue to read updates through reliable local news outlets.