Department of Human Services

Human Services Announces Hot Food and Replacement Benefits Assistance for SNAP Recipients Living in Six New Jersey Counties Impacted by Tropical Storm Ida

SNAP Recipients in Bergen, Gloucester, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Passaic Counties Will Receive this Food Assistance Under Disaster-SNAP 

September 10, 2021

(TRENTON) –  Following FEMA’s approval of a Major Disaster Declaration, NJ Human Services sought and received additional federal approval to provide New Jerseyans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Bergen, Gloucester,  Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties access to special disaster food assistance benefits beginning today through September 30, 2021.

NJ SNAP recipients can use their EBT benefits cards to purchase hot food at participating NJ SNAP retailers until September 30, 2021. The hot food waiver only applies to items purchased from SNAP-approved retailers located in the designated six counties.

For a list of participating SNAP retailers, visit here.

In addition, NJ SNAP Recipients in these six counties will have until September 30, 2021 to request replacement benefits for food lost due to the impact of the storm.  SNAP recipients must contact their local Board of Social Services before September 30th to make this request. For a list of the County Boards of Social Services, visit here.

“As families confront the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida, how to access and afford a warm meal should not be an additional concern. We are glad we can provide this additional support to SNAP families in these six counties as they recover,” said Acting Commissioner Adelman.

Normally, hot foods cannot be purchased with SNAP benefits; however, due to the damage caused by Tropical Storm Ida where homes were flooded, without power or families needed to relocate for other reasons and cooking may not possible, Human Services requested federal approval to allow for the purchase of hot food for SNAP residents in these counties.

“The impact of this storm has been devastating for many families and this option will make it easier to access hot and prepared meals while they recover from the impacts of the storm,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.

“Some of the families living in these counties were already struggling to make ends meet even before the storm hit. We hope this assistance will provide some relief as they rebuild,” said Assistant Commissioner Natasha Johnson, who directs Human Services’ Division of Family Development, which is responsible for the SNAP program.

The hot food assistance is provided by the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a disaster declaration on Monday for Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset and Passaic counties, which were hit the hardest by last week’s Tropical Storm Ida.

Individuals in the six approved counties may also register at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/ for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery, which may include home repairs, temporary housing, low-cost loans, and other programs to help recover from the effects of the tropical storm.