More than 17,000 Acadiana households received disaster food stamp benefits last week, with thousands more applying in Acadia and Lafayette Parishes this week during the second phase of their distribution.
About 2,100 households were approved for benefits on Monday in Lafayette Parish and more than 800 in Acadia Parish, said Grace Weber, spokesperson for the state DCFS, which is administering their distribution in flood-affected areas statewide.
The Louisiana flood of 2016 has people asking plenty of great questions about any and all is…
Last week, some 7,100 households received benefits in St. Landry Parish, 4,000 in Vermilion and 5,900 in Iberia.
Households that don't already receive SNAP benefits — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps — are eligible to apply for disaster SNAP benefits, or DSNAP.
Weber said more people are eligible than they realize.
"A lot of people assume they make too much, when they actually could have incurred disaster-related expenses" that reduce their cash assets, she said.
The one-time benefits range from $194 for a one-person household to $1,169 for an eight-person household. Any households with members beyond that amount receive another $146 per person.
The federally funded benefits are loaded onto special debit cards within three days of receiving one at a DSNAP site.
DSNAP sites in Acadiana this week are the Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette and the Rayne Civic Center in Acadia Parish.
The third phase will continue next week, allowing affected households in St. Martin Parish to apply starting on Tuesday. Evangeline Parish residents in ZIP codes 70515, 70524, 70535, 70554, 70576 and 70586 will also be eligible to apply next week.
Caseworkers determine eligibility by subtracting any incurred or expected flood-related expenses from a household's income and cash assets during the period of Aug. 10 to Sept. 8.
People in all parishes who want to apply are encouraged to pre-register at dcfa.la.gov/preregister or by phone at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) to expedite the process.
Households that already receive SNAP benefits and live in a flood-affected ZIP code will automatically receive additional benefits on their cards.