Thursday, October 6

Food stamps available in Lake Charles

The state Department of Social Services has opened a Disaster Food Stamp Program office at the old Trinity Baptist Church, 1639 Ryan St. Hours are 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
The disaster food stamp system operates under a different set of eligibility and benefit delivery requirements than the regular Food Stamp Program. People who might not ordinarily qualify for food stamps may be eligible under the disaster food stamp program if they have had disaster damage to their homes, expenses related to protecting their homes, or if they have lost income as a result of the disaster or have no access to bank accounts or other resources.
Verification of identity and residency, if possible, will be required in order to be eligible for Disaster Food Stamp Program benefits. Other eligibility factors include income, liquid resources, expenses, Social Security numbers and household composition. The benefits may be used throughout the nation.
As of Oct. 5, DSS has distributed more than $192 million in disaster food stamp benefits to about 331,000 households as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 86,000 households have received $31 million in disaster food stamp benefits as a result of Hurricane Rita.
People in parishes impacted by Hurricane Rita who received benefits from the Katrina disaster do not need to visit offices, as the maximum allotment of benefits will automatically be added to their cards according to household size. Households from the residents of the following parishes who were certified in September will automatically receive benefits for October: Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and Washington.
Recipients should continue to use their electronic benefit cards, which will automatically have benefits added to them. They do not need to visit the DSS Offices of Family Support.
For more information about the Food Stamp Benefit program, visit or, or call (888) 524-3578.

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