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Food Assistance for Disaster Relief

Disaster Assistance

Last Published: 10/20/2018

Disaster Assistance

FNS coordinates with state and local agencies to responds to disasters.

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FNS Responses to Recent Disasters

FNS Active and Recent Disasters Map

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) coordinates with State, local and voluntary organizations to:

  • Provide food for shelters and other mass feeding sites.
  • Distribute food packages directly to households in need in limited situations.
  • Issue Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits.

As part of the National Response Framework, FNS provides nutrition assistance to those most affected by a disaster or emergency. When State agencies notify USDA of the types and quantities of food that relief organizations need for emergency feeding operations, FNS supplies food to disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army for mass feeding or household distribution. FNS also authorizes States to provide D-SNAP benefits.

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In the News

Thumbnail - Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael

-- USDA Provides Hurricane Michael Victims Needed Relief and Recovery Aid
-- USDA Announces Replacement SNAP Benefits in 12 Hurricane-Impacted Florida Counties
-- USDA Approved Additional Food Options to Florida SNAP Participants Impacted by Hurricane Michael

Thumbnail - Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence

-- USDA Announces SNAP Replacements, Child and Adult Care Meal Flexibility in Certain Hurricane-Impacted Carolina Counties
-- USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for North Carolina Disaster Areas
-- USDA Approves North Carolina WIC Flexibilities in Wake of Hurricane Florence
-- USDA Provides Hurricane Florence Victims Needed Relief and Recovery Aid
-- USDA Eases Program Rules for South Carolina SNAP Participants Impacted by Florence
-- USDA Provides North Carolina Children Affected by Hurricane Florence with Access to Free Meals
-- USDA Provides Additional Food Options to SNAP Participants Impacted by Hurricane Florence
-- USDA Prepared to Respond to Hurricane Florence

FNS disaster assistance photo

Hurricane Maria

-- Food Assistance Heading to Hurricane Hit Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Households
-- USDA Announces SNAP Policy for Displaced Puerto Rico Residents
-- USDA Continues Disaster Assistance in Puerto Rico
-- In the Face of Natural Disaster, USDA Answers the Call to Action (blog)
-- USDA Brings Key Resources to Individuals and Communities Hit by Recent Hurricanes

FNS disaster assistance photo

Hurricane Harvey

-- USDA Makes It Easy for Hurricane-Hit Texas Schools to Feed Students
-- USDA and THHSC Announce Approval of D-SNAP for Texas Disaster Areas
-- USDA, TDA: More Food Help on the Way for Households Hit by Harvey 
-- USDA Eases WIC Food Package Rules for Texas Participants Affected by Harvey
-- USDA Helps Hurricane Harvey Evacuees to Obtain Expedited Nutrition Assistance
-- USDA, Texas Take Immediate Action, Launch Long Term Plans to Feed Hurricane-Stricken Areas
-- USDA Providing Nutrition Help to States Hit by Hurricane, Flooding

FNS disaster assistance photo

Hurricane Irma

-- USDA Helps Schools Feed Kids in Hurricane-Hit Georgia, Florida
-- USDA Assists Florida Children Affected by Irma
-- USDA: Help on Way for Households Hit by Irma
-- USDA Okays SNAP Hot Foods Waiver for Hurricane Hit Virgin Islands
-- USDA Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Irma
-- USDA Eases Program Rules to Aid Florida, Other Irma-Stricken Areas

FNS disaster assistance photo

Western Wildfires

-- USDA Provides Oregon Children Impacted by Wildfires More Flexible Access to Meals Service
-- SNAP Recipients Affected by Northern California Wild Fires Receive USDA Relief


USDA Disaster Nutrition Assistance Programs

Nothing is more important than providing food when people find themselves suddenly, and often critically, in need following a storm, earthquake, flood or other disaster emergency. USDA makes sure that people have enough to eat. Watch this 8-minute video to see USDA Disaster Nutrition Assistance Programs in action and the support they bring to communities recovering from disasters.

Learn more about how FNS Programs respond during disasters