There is still a chance for some people to sign up for D-SNAP disaster food assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Originally, registration for D-SNAP — short for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — required an in-person interview. But hundreds of thousands of hopeful applicants statewide showed up looking for help paying for food staples after damage or other losses due to the hurricane. Lines grew hours long and prohibitive for many, according to a lawsuit against the state and federal governments which together run the D-SNAP program.
Now, some elderly and people with disabilities who were not able to stand in hours-long lines will have the opportunity to phone in their registration if they pre-registered by Nov. 9.
The Florida Department of Children and Families administers the D-SNAP program on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which ultimately calls the shots. The suit is being brought by a coalition of community organizations including the Miami Workers Center and the University of Miami Health Rights Clinic.
During an emergency hearing earlier this month, the federal government agreed to consider allowing telephone interviews for the elderly and disabled who pre-registered. Phone interviews with those individuals will be held on Dec. 2 and 3.