Department of Human Services

Human Services Announces Hot Food and Replacement Benefits Assistance for SNAP Recipients Living in Essex, Hudson, Mercer Morris & Union Counties

SNAP Recipients in Counties with FEMA Disaster Declarations due to Impact of Tropical Storm Ida Will Receive this Food Assistance Under Disaster-SNAP

 

September 13, 2021

 

(TRENTON) –  Following FEMA’s approval of another Major Disaster Declaration for counties impacted by Tropical Storm Ida, NJ Human Services sought and received additional federal approval to provide New Jerseyans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Morris and Union counties access to special disaster food assistance benefits through Sept. 30, 2021.

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

For a list of participating SNAP retailers, visit here.

In addition, NJ SNAP Recipients in these counties will have until Sept. 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 Sept. 30 to make this request. For a list of the County Boards of Social Services, visit here.

NJ SNAP Recipients in Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties are also eligible for the special disaster food assistance benefits. FEMA approved disaster declarations for these six counties first. Now, NJ SNAP recipients living in these eleven counties can use their EBT benefits cards to purchase hot food and can request replacement benefits for lost food until September 30th.

“Now that these counties have received federal disaster designations, we can extend this additional food support to more SNAP families impacted by the storm. We know these families need support, and we will continue to ask for federal assistance if additional counties receive this designation,” said Acting Commissioner Sarah 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.

“We are glad we can provide this assistance to more SNAP families for whom cooking at home may not be an option due to damage caused by the storm. Making it easier to access hot and prepared meals will hopefully help make the recovery process less stressful for these families,” said Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira.

“These new designations mean that more SNAP families impacted by the storm will not have to worry about hot prepared meals while they focus on rebuilding,” 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). FEMA has approved disaster declarations for Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties, which were severely impacted by the storm.

Individuals in the 11 approved counties may also register at 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.