The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance today announced that assistance is available to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Westchester County to replace food lost because of prolonged power outages associated with two snow storms that hit New York since the end of last week. Tens of thousands of homes in Westchester were without power in the wake of the snow storms, some for more than a week.
“The numerous power outages in Westchester County caused by these storms provided a severe challenge for many homes and the unexpected loss of a resource as important and basic as food could be devastating for a low-income family,” said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “By issuing replacement SNAP benefits, we will ensure that these families will have the ability to provide for their families’ nutritional needs.”
Commissioner Roberts was in Westchester Friday morning to meet with county department of social services staff and provide guidance on the emergency assistance that is available to affected residents.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week declared a state of emergency in Westchester and several other counties that were hardest hit. SNAP recipients in Westchester whose food has spoiled as a result of power outages caused by the recent storms can receive replacement benefits up to the amount of their most recent monthly SNAP benefit.
Westchester residents who think they may be eligible for replacement SNAP benefits must return a signed and completed form, found at otda.ny.gov/programs/applications/2291.pdf, to their county department of social services office.
For households that don’t receive SNAP, Emergency Temporary Assistance may be able to assist those whose food was spoiled due to power outages, and cannot afford to replace the food. To apply for Emergency Temporary Assistance, contact your county social services office, a list of which can be found at socialservices.westchestergov.com/district-offices.
Sen. David Carlucci said, “Low-income families should not go hungry because of a storm or a delayed response from the power company. I applaud the Governor and OTDA for making sure victims can receive replacement SNAP benefits or Emergency Temporary Assistance. My office will help residents with filling out the forms and submitting them.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “The past two storms have hit Westchester very hard. Westchester residents who have had to worry about not having power should not have to also worry about not having food. I applaud the Governor for this action. This is much needed help for people who have been suffering.”
Westchester Department of Social Services Commissioner Kevin M. McGuire said, “People who are currently receiving SNAP benefits can come into any one of our District Offices in Westchester County, and request a replacement of their SNAP benefits. If they used food stamps to purchase food and a storm came causing the power to go out, they needed to throw away all the food in their refrigerator. That’s a real problem because many of these people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Please come to any of our District Offices and ask for help, and we will replace your SNAP benefits.”
Additionally, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance has contacted its state-funded SNAP outreach providers to ensure they are providing enhanced outreach to encourage potentially eligible individuals and families to apply for replacement SNAP benefits.