Apply for Disaster Food Assistance Starting Nov. 26

Eligible Somerset County residents may apply for the state’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) from Nov. 26 through Dec. 4, weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Board of Social Services’ main office at 73 E. High St. , Somerville , NJ 08876 .

Applicants with last names starting with A-M will be screened on Nov. 26, 28 and 30; those with last names from N-Z will be seen on Nov. 27 and 29 and Dec. 3.  Tuesday, Dec. 4, is a makeup day and anyone may apply.

Applications also will be taken at the board’s satellite office – located at 391D Somerset St. , North Plainfield , NJ 07060 – from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the same days.  Board of Social Services staff will also be available at the Somerset County Disaster Recovery Center in the first-floor conference room at 27 Warren St. , Somerville , NJ 08876 , to screen and assist applicants.

Applications will not be taken at the Franklin outreach office at 610 Franklin Blvd. but applicants will be screened there and referred to the board’s main office in Somerville .

Current SNAP recipients are not eligible and cannot apply for this program because they already received a 30-percent October replacement allocation on their EBT card and will receive a supplemental benefit by Dec. 7.

The Christie Administration is implementing the D-SNAP benefit for individuals and families in certain counties affected by Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter, who are not already enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). An estimated 100,000 households hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy may be eligible for at least $200 in electronic benefits.

D-SNAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the counties’ Boards of Social Services.

Eligible recipients will receive their benefits on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that only can be used for the purchase of grocery food items.

“Now that New Jerseyans have power restored and most are returned to their homes, the tally  of costs associated with cleanup  and rebuilding  are  mounting,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “By providing D-SNAP in the counties that suffered the worst damage, we ensure that people who were struggling financially before the storm, and who now have these unexpected expenses, at least can buy food.”

Application rules and eligibility for D-SNAP have been modified based on lessons learned after Tropical Storm Irene in September 2011. Misinformation about the program caused long lines at designated application sites and created a potential for fraudulent activity. This year, strict criteria must be met in order for people to qualify.

“We know that millions of people throughout the state were without power and as a result lost perishable food supplies, but D-SNAP is a federal safety-net subsidy available only to people who are at risk for hunger because their disaster-recovery expenses have left them without enough money to buy food,” added Velez.

New Jersey was approved to launch D-SNAP for all residents in 16 counties and by zip code in two other counties. It will be offered in Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties as well as in the following zip codes of Burlington and Cumberland counties:  08224,  08010,  08016, 08515, 08075,  08511,  08562,  08068,  07081,  08088, 07676, 08046, 08562, 08323, 08320, 08311, 08345, 08321, 08315, 08349, 08348, 08324, 08314, 08327, 08329, 08316.

Applicants from the designated areas must go to the D-SNAP location in their own county. However, displaced residents can apply in the county where they are currently staying. Residents are strongly encouraged to take note of the required criteria in order to ensure eligibility. For a list of sites, go to www.njsnap.org.

Under the new rules, applicants in the designated counties or zip codes must provide:

·         Identification and proof of residency – a driver’s license, for example, would serve as both.

·         Pay stubs and bank statements (cash, checking and savings) for the 30 days from Oct. 28 through Nov. 26.  Under the guidelines, for a family of one, the income limit is $2,268 with a benefit of $200; a family of two is $2,965 limit with a $367 benefit; a family of three is $3,416 limit with a $526 benefit; and, a family of four is $4,034 limit with a $668 benefit.

·         Receipts that show more than $100 spent on disaster-related expenses between Oct. 28 and Nov. 26.  The cost of replacing food cannot be included in the $100, but restaurant expenses are allowed.  Related expenses may include:

Ø Temporary shelter in a motel


Ø Home/business repairs


Ø Evacuation expenses


Ø Disaster clean up


Ø Disaster related vehicle repairs


Ø Gasoline for a generator


Ø Replacement of personal items, such as clothing or household items, such as appliances, tools, educational materials.


If any of the purchases were charged to a credit card, the resident must be able to document that they paid the credit card bill for these items by Nov. 26.

Below is a chart that shows D-SNAP income limits and benefits by family size.




Household Size

Disaster Income Limit

Allotment Amount
















Each Additional Member

+ $384

+ $150


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