Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Program offered in Craven County

A Disaster Food and Nutrition Services (DFNS) benefits program will be offered by Craven County Department of Social Services.

The services will be offered at 2818 Neuse Blvd. in New Bern beginning Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 through Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, then resuming on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 through Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, for those who suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 as a result of Hurricane Florence.

The hours of operation each day will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What Are Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits?

Disaster FNS Benefits are being provided to residents of Craven County who suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 due to Hurricane Florence. 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 Florence occurred. If you are unable to apply in person, you may designate (with a signed statement from you) someone to represent you. Please be sure to include the individuals name as it is listed on their form of identification in your written statement if they are going to be your authorized representative. Individuals who are currently receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or more commonly referred to as Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) are NOT eligible to receive benefits nor be included on any DFNS application.

How Do I Apply?

You must file an application for benefits at a local department of Social Services that has been approved for a DFNS program. Your application information must be truthful. A Craven 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.

Because long lines and wait times are possible, individuals are encouraged to bring medications and other necessary items. Due to limited space, individuals are encouraged to limit the number of people accompanying them and to consider arranging child care if possible. Residents should come prepared for inclement weather while waiting outdoors as limited outdoor shelter is available for those waiting in line.

No food vendors will be allowed in the parking lots at application locations. In addition, no donations will be accepted or distributed at application locations.

What Verifications Will I Need to Complete My Application?

  • Identification: Photo ID and other forms that are not limited to Social Security card, mail, or collateral statement. Identity of the head of household or authorized representative must be verified in order for an application to be made.

How Will We Determine Your Eligibility?

Your total income received (or expected to be received) between Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 6, 2018 plus available resources, minus a deduction for disaster-related expenses and shelter expenses, shall not exceed federal income limits. Individuals must have lived in the disaster area for the counties operating a DFNS program at the time of the disaster; must plan on purchasing food during the disaster period, and suffered food losses, damage or destruction of the household’s home or self-employment, lost income, or will incur a disaster related expense which will not be reimbursed during the period of Sept. 7, 2018 through Oct. 8, 2018 as a result of Hurricane Florence.

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 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 Oct. 31, 2018. Items that cannot be purchased include but are not limited to paper items, soap, vitamins, diapers, medicine, pet foods, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages with your benefits.

Penalties

  • DO NOT give false information or hide information to get or to continue to get Food and Nutrition Services.
  • DO NOT give or sell your benefits or authorization documents to anyone not authorized to use them.
  • DO NOT alter any document to get Food and Nutrition Services you are not entitled to.
  • DO NOT use Food and Nutrition Services to buy unauthorized items such as alcohol or tobacco.
  • DO NOT use another household’s Food and Nutrition Services or authorization document for your household.
  • If you intentionally break any of the rules above you may not be able to get any more Food and Nutrition Services permanently, 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 repay them. All state 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 at the Craven County Department of Social Services.

Ongoing Food and Nutrition Services Benefits

The application you make as part of this program 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.

For questions or more information on the Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Program call the Craven County Department of Social Services at 252-636-4900.

September 26th, 2018 by
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