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USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for California Disaster Areas

Press Release
Release No.
USDA 0083.23
Contact: FNS Press Team

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that low-income California residents in seven counties (Kern, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare, and Tuolumne) recovering from the impact of severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that began on Feb. 21, 2023, could be eligible for a helping hand from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that approximately 4,000 households that may not normally be eligible under regular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rules may qualify for D-SNAP – if they meet certain criteria, including the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.

“As California residents recover from the severe storms and its aftermath, this approval of D-SNAP is vital in ensuring they get the food they need,” Vilsack said.

To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must either live or work in an identified disaster area, have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will receive one month of benefits – equal to the maximum monthly amount for a SNAP household of their size – that they can use to purchase groceries at SNAP-authorized stores or from select retailers online to meet their temporary food needs as they settle back home following the disaster. California will operate its D-SNAP application process for seven non-consecutive days beginning April 17, 2023, through April 25, 2023. California will share additional information about D-SNAP application dates and locations through local media.

The timing of D-SNAP varies with the unique circumstances of each disaster, Vilsack said, but always begins after commercial channels of food distribution have been restored and families are able to purchase and prepare food at home. Before operating a D-SNAP, a state must ensure that the proper public information, staffing, and resources are in place.

The D-SNAP announcement today is the latest in a battery of USDA actions taken to help California residents cope with severe storms and its aftermath, which also include:

  • Approving a waiver to allow SNAP participants in 23 counties (Alpine, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne and Ventura) to buy hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption with their benefits at authorized SNAP retailers statewide through May 2, 2023.
  • Approving a mass replacements waiver in 28 counties (Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne and Yuba) allowing households to receive replacement of benefits due to power outages and flooding as a result of severe winter storms that began March 7, 2023.
  • Approving a waiver for the 10-day reporting requirement for the replacement of food purchased with SNAP benefits that were lost due to the severe storms in 43 counties (Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Nevada, Napa, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sierra, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne and Yuba).

For more information about this and other available aid, callers from California can dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-621-3362. For more information about California SNAP, visit www.cdss.ca.gov/food-nutrition/calfresh.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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Page updated: November 22, 2023