AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services announced today it will add an extra day at a new location for Harris County victims of Hurricane Harvey to apply for disaster food relief as D-SNAP comes to a close in Harris County.
Texas is opening a new site Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston for Harris County residents who suffered loss as a result of Harvey to apply for D-SNAP. This larger site has more indoor capacity to better accommodate the expected volume and needs of those applying for benefits. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. The address is 1001 Avenida de las Americas in Houston.
The additional site and extra day was determined with input from local officials about how to best serve the people of Harris County. While D-SNAP typically is offered for up to seven days in a community, Texas will have offered D-SNAP in Harris County for a total of 15 days when the program closes Friday at 7 p.m. The extra day is being added due to longer than expected lines and to ensure that those who are eligible have enough opportunity to apply.
All other Harris County sites will permanently close at 7 p.m. Thursday, and Texas HHS staff will shift to the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Law enforcement will be on site to assist with crowd management and address any security matters. HHS is encouraging only the applicant to visit application sites, as additional family members are creating congestion and other challenges. Long lines are to be expected.
According to preliminary numbers, more than 201,000 people have already been served at the sites in Harris County.
No additional extensions or phases of D-SNAP are being announced at this time. Applicants must be in line by 7 p.m. to be considered; those who arrive after 7 p.m. cannot get in line. Due to high volumes of applicants not all individuals in line at 7 p.m. will necessarily be served.
The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as D-SNAP, provides short-term food benefits for eligible families recovering from a disaster.
For information on all currently approved D-SNAP sites, go to hhs.texas.gov/d-snap to find days and hours of operation.
D-SNAP is available to eligible people who are residents of one of the counties with a federal disaster declaration and weren’t receiving benefits through regular SNAP at the time of the disaster. Recipients will be given a Lone Star Card that will be loaded within three days with funds to purchase food from most grocery stores.
Residents of the affected counties may be eligible if they suffered damage to their home or business, loss of income or disaster-related expenses. Disaster-related expenses can include home repairs, temporary shelter or evacuation expenses.
Households must bring identification when applying for D-SNAP. Common types of verification include a driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.
Eligible households will receive two months of benefits when their cards load. The benefit amount is equivalent to the maximum amount normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, within three days of applying.
Texas has been closely tracking eligibility and approvals for D-SNAP as benefits are delivered. Texas is administering D-SNAP based on federal guidelines and income parameters. Texas has controls in place to ensure benefits are provided to people who meet the requirements outlined by the federal program.
People who purposely provide wrong information to receive disaster benefits may be denied benefits, and legal action may be taken against them.
People with questions about D-SNAP, including those who have special needs, should dial 2-1-1 and select option 6. For other storm-related services, including shelters, dial 2-1-1 and select option 5. For questions about TANF, Medicaid or CHIP, dial 2-1-1 and select option 2.
To check benefit amounts, recipients can visit YourTexasBenefits.com or call the Lone Star Help Desk at 800-777-7EBT (800-777-7328).