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Louisiana receives waiver to allow purchase of "hot foods" with SNAP benefits

SNAP benefits
Posted at 5:13 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 18:13:59-04

Louisiana participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits to purchase "hot" or prepared foods from authorized SNAP retailers.

These purchases can be made during the month of September, following waiver approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).

Normally, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase "hot food products prepared for immediate consumption." Waiving that restriction is vital in the immediate aftermath of a storm such as Hurricane Laura, where many residents are displaced and cannot access a kitchen to prepare their meals.

Gov Edwards also announced the waiver at a press conference on Friday, read more here.

The waiver, granted Thursday and lasting through Oct. 1, will allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared foods at any retailer that accepts SNAP EBT cards, whether in Louisiana or in another state. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.

The same waiver would apply to Disaster SNAP (DSNAP) benefits, if and when that program comes online in the coming days.

More information about the "hot foods" waiver can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/hotfoods .

DSNAP has not yet been federally authorized in any Louisiana parishes. DSNAP can be offered only in locations where Individual Assistance has been federally approved and FNS has authorized a DSNAP operation. DCFS is in the process of requesting that authorization.

Residents affected by Hurricane Laura are encouraged to register for DSNAP and to download the LA Wallet mobile app. Registration does not guarantee benefits, but will make the application process easier and quicker for applicants if a DSNAP is approved for their community. The LA Wallet app also will speed the process by making it easier to verify an applicant's identity. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. More information, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com.

SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not register or apply.

More information about DSNAP, including how to create an account and register, can be found at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP

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