IDHS Offers Food Assistance to SNAP Households Affected by Tornadoes

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

11/21/2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 21, 2013

CONTACT:  Januari Smith (217) 558-1544

Individuals must apply by Nov. 27

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced assistance for SNAP households affected by last weekend's deadly tornadoes. In light of the tornadoes that devastated 18 Illinois counties, IDHS will issue replacement Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for food that was destroyed in the disaster.

"Many families lost everything in the tornadoes and we are pleased to be able to offer immediate food assistance to qualifying families," said IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler. "The SNAP program can help ensure that families have enough to eat while they rebuild their lives."

Active SNAP recipients that lost food purchased with SNAP benefits due to the November 17 disaster or experienced subsequent power outages lasting more than four hours have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 27 to request replacement.

Individuals requesting replacement SNAP benefits must visit their local IDHS Family and Community Resource Center. Office locations can be found at www.dhs.state.il.us  or by calling the IDHS helpline at (800) 843-6154.

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food for human consumption, but cannot be used to buy alcoholic drinks, tobacco products or non-food products.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, IDHS is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department.

Persons committing fraud with SNAP will be disqualified from the program, and may be fined up to $250,000, receive a prison term of up to 20 years, or both.