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Best Practices in USDA Disaster SNAP Operations and Planning

Resource type
Research and Data
Research Reports
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Program Access
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (164.25 KB)
PDF Icon Final Report (6.54 MB)
PDF Icon Appendices (1.35 MB)

Under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the Secretary of Agriculture can authorize requesting state agencies to operate Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) in areas with a Presidential disaster declaration authorizing individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) once commercial channels of food distribution are operational. D-SNAP serves people who would not qualify for SNAP under normal circumstances but need temporary food assistance because of the impacts of a disaster on their property, possessions, and livelihood.

Study Goals

  1. Assess the implementation and operation of D-SNAP for selected disasters in four study states;
  2. Document each state’s approach to protecting program integrity while operating D-SNAP for the selected disasters;
  3. Determine best practices for developing annual disaster plans to address a variety of disaster types; and
  4. Determine best practices for implementing and operating D-SNAP for a variety of disaster types.

Key Findings

  • State agencies expressed a desire to continue virtual D-SNAP operations after the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
  • State agencies should maintain relationships and open communication with other state agencies, partners, and contractors.
  • During operations, daily management huddles, and a centralized “command room” promote efficient collaboration and decision making.
  • Preregistration systems shorten interview duration and reduce errors.
  • State agencies can use the closeout process to reflect on challenges and effective practices and identify areas for improvement in future D-SNAPs.
Page updated: July 23, 2024