Raleigh Nov 2, 2016 RALEIGH, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved his request for citizens in six more counties inundated in October by flooding from Hurricane Matthew to be eligible to receive Disaster Food and Nutrition Service benefits. “Even though the storm has passed, there are still many people hurting in North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “As we begin to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, disaster food assistance is an additional step to help people get back on their feet again.” This benefit is for individuals who are not current recipients of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), or food stamp benefits. It is approved for residents of Brunswick, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Halifax and Pasquotank counties, which were declared earlier as major disasters areas eligible for federal assistance just a few days after the hurricane struck. A total of 37 counties across eastern North Carolina have been approved for Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits. Residents in the impacted counties who are not currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits may qualify for disaster assistance for a one-month period if they have suffered losses from Hurricane Matthew, including: • Destroyed or damaged homes • Disaster-related expenses • Loss of income or food as a result of power outage or household flooding The federal government determines eligibility based on available income and resources. Those applying for Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits must provide proof of identity along with proof of residency (if available). Applicants must apply in the county where they reside. Disaster Food and Nutrition Services: Locations, Service Dates and Hours of Operation Application sites will operate for five days beginning Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 and continuing through Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, for the six additional counties at the following locations. Dates and hours of operation may vary per county. County Location Hours of Operation Service Dates Brunswick Brunswick County DSS 60 Government Center Drive Bolivia, NC 28422 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Camden Camden County DSS 117 NC Hwy 343 N Camden, NC 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Chowan Chowan County DSS 100 W Freemason Circle Edenton, NC Weekdays: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Currituck Currituck County DSS 2793 Caratoke Highway Currituck, NC 27929 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Halifax Halifax County DSS 4421 U.S. 301 Halifax, N.C. 27839 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Pasquotank Pasquotank County DSS 709 Roanoke Ave Elizabeth City, NC 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Monday, Nov. 7 Listed below, please find additional information about the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Program Information: What Are Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits? Disaster FNS Benefits are being provided to residents of your county who suffered loss due to Hurricane Matthew. Not everyone will be eligible for these benefits, as certain eligibility criteria must be met. A person must have been living in the disaster area at the time of the disaster. You can only apply for benefits for those individuals who lived with you before Hurricane Matthew occurred. If you are unable to apply in person, you may designate (with a signed statement from you) someone to represent you. How Do I Apply? You must file an application for benefits. Your application information must be truthful. A county department of social services worker will interview you and go over your application with you. If you do not understand a question, ask the worker to explain it during the interview. Report all income accurately. Every household that receives disaster FNS benefits is subject to a federal and/or State review or audit. What Verifications Will I Need to Complete My Application? • Identification: Photo ID or any other document that verifies your identity • Residency (if possible) • You can use utility bills, tax bills, or insurance policies, or a collateral (friend, employer, pastor, etc.) • Social Security Number and date of birth for each household member (do not need Social Security Cards, just the number) • Amount of take home pay for each household member How Will We Determine Your Eligibility? Your total income received (or expected to be received) between Oct. 7, 2016 through Nov. 6, 2016 plus available resources, minus a deduction for disaster-related expenses and shelter expenses, shall not exceed federal income limits. How and When Do I Get My Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits? All Disaster FNS Benefits are placed on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. You will receive an EBT card from the worker if you are eligible, after you complete your application. If you need assistance with using your EBT card, you may contact the NC EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328. What Can I Use the Food and Nutrition Services Benefits For? You may use your EBT card at any store that accepts FNS EBT cards. Only food, seeds, or plants for a garden to grow food may be purchased with the EBT card. You may also purchase infant formula, ice, and drinking water. Prepared hot foods may be bought in stores that accept EBT cards until Nov. 14, 2016. You cannot purchase paper items, soap, vitamins, diapers, medicine, pet foods, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages with your benefits. Penalties You must tell the truth when you apply for FNS Benefits. Do not sell or give away your EBT card and/or FNS Benefits. Anyone who gives false information will have to pay back any FNS benefits that they are not eligible for. If you intentionally break the rules of the program or give false information, you may be permanently disqualified from the FNS Program and may be fined up to $250,000 and/or jailed up to 20 years. It is illegal to receive Disaster FNS Benefits twice for the same disaster. People who get benefits they are not entitled to will be required to pay them back. All State Employee and County Social Services employees who receive Disaster FNS Benefits will be audited at a later time. Hearings Any household denied Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits is entitled to request a fair hearing. You request this at your county department of social services. Ongoing Food and Nutrition Services Benefits The application you make today is for Disaster Food and Nutrition Service Benefits only. If you want to apply for the regular FNS Program to receive ongoing benefits, if you are eligible, you must apply separately. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this application process. For more information on Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits, click here.