Coronavirus file photo stock of grocery shopping in Louisiana

Heath Jones, a courtesy clerk at Mac's Fresh Market, wears a mask and gloves while loading groceries in St. Joseph, La., on Thursday, April 2, 2020. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services received federal approval to begin a virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for low-income households who sustained damage or lost income from February's winter storm.

The program -- which provides funds to purchase groceries -- is open to residents living in 23 parishes. The application period opens April 5 and ends April 17 and interviews to determine eligibility will occur over the phone. 

Applicants should call 1-888-524-3578 (select language, then press 3-3-1), between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on their designated day, according to their parish of residence and last name. 

Phase 1 parishes include : Avoyelles, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, Franklin, Grant and Ouachita

  • Monday, April 5 – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
  • Tuesday, April 6 – G-M
  • Wednesday, April 7 – N-S
  • Thursday, April 8 – T-Z
  • Friday, April 9 – A-Z (All residents in Phase 1 parishes)
  • Saturday, April 10 – A-Z (All residents in Phase 1 parishes)

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Phase 2 parishes include: Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, LaSalle, Madison, Natchitoches, Rapides, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Webster, West Carroll and Winn

  • Monday, April 12 – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
  • Tuesday, April 13 – G-M
  • Wednesday, April 14 – N-S
  • Thursday, April 15 – T-Z
  • Friday, April 16 – A-Z (All residents in Phase 2 parishes)
  • Saturday, April 17 – A-Z (All residents in Phase 2 parishes)

Most applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application and interview whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants will also receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.

Residents who received SNAP benefits in February 2021 are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Residents who began to receive SNAP benefits after February 2021 may be eligible.

Residents are encouraged, but not required, to take the following steps before calling to apply and be interviewed for DSNAP:

  • Pre-register online first. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found at dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-registration.
  • Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found here.
  • Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at dcfs.la.gov/page/dsnap-faqs.

Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater