For food stamp recipients in Georgia who lost food due to the massive power outages spawned by Irma, help is on the way.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved replacement benefits for residents in 69 Georgia counties, state officials announced in a statement on Monday.
FNS approved Georgia's request to replace 45 percent of September's benefit allotment for customers living in one of the impacted counties. The waiver allows Georgians whose food was spoiled during the power outages in those counties to replace what they purchased with SNAP funds without having to file paperwork to do it. That means no need to fill out the "Food Loss Replacement Form" or take any action to receive the benefits which were automatically uploaded to their EBT cards.
“We truly appreciate the support of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) as Georgia continues to recover from this devastating storm," said Bobby Cagle, the state's director of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). "We also want to thank Georgia Power and the state’s electric membership corporations for the extensive work they did to gather the information needed for the waiver.”
Counties covered under the waiver include:
Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Banks, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Butts, Camden, Candler, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Dawson, Dooly, Echols, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Greene, Habersham, Hall, Hancock, Irwin, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Lee, Long, Lowndes, Lumpkin, Macon, McIntosh, Mitchell, Monroe, Morgan, Oglethorpe, Peach, Pickens, Pierce, Pulaski, Putnam, Rockdale, Screven, Stewart, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Telfair, Tift, Towns, Turner, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, White, Wilcox, Wilkes and Worth.
For those who experienced food loss and don't live in the listed counties, they can still request a replacement and have until Oct. 2 to submit their Food Loss Replacement Form (Form 841). The form doesn't need to be included along with verification from a utility company.