Replacement FSP Crucial as Marylanders Recover from Hurricane Sandy, Example Why Funding for FSP Must Stay Strong
Dec 7, 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirsten Bokenkamp, 202-986-2200 xt 3974; firstname.lastname@example.org
BALTIMORE – Although the immediate effects of Super Storm Sandy are gone, many Marylanders are still feeling its impact. For low-income Marylanders receiving Food Supplement Program (FSP, formerly called Food Stamps and called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or SNAP nationally) benefits, a disruption in power meant the loss of already scarce food resources. The Maryland Department of Human Resources recently announced that it is extending the period to file for replacement FSP benefits until December 21 after successfully seeking approval from the United States Department of Agriculture.
“The Department of Human Resources is doing the right thing by extending the deadline for people to claim replacement FSP benefits,” said Director of Maryland Hunger Solutions Cathy Demeroto. “A storm like Sandy hits everybody hard, but low-income populations often have the toughest time recovering. This extension ensures that vulnerable Marylanders hit by the storm can continue to feed themselves and their families as they recover.”
Current FSP recipients who live in Cecil, Garrett, Somerset, and Harford Counties automatically received 30 percent of their October benefit amount directly on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards in early November. FSP recipients in these four counties whose food losses were greater than the 30% replacement benefit and FSP recipients in other counties of the state who did not receive automatic replacement benefits but lost food due to the storm must go to their local department of social services by December 21, 2012 and sign an affidavit of loss to get replacement benefits. Replacement benefits are limited to 30 percent of October benefits the client received. Customers who claim losses higher than 30 percent must document the loss.
As Congress deliberates on the fiscal cliff, anti-hunger groups across the nation – including Maryland Hunger Solutions – are fighting against any cuts to SNAP. “SNAP, called FSP in Maryland, is able to respond quickly and help people affected by natural disasters,” said Demeroto. “But the program also helps low-income populations including children, the elderly, and the disabled to access much needed food on a daily basis. Any cuts to SNAP would literally take food out of peoples’ mouths, and Congress must keep this program strong.”
Over 747,000 Marylanders receive FSP benefits and one in eight Marylanders faces a constant struggle against hunger.
See Benefit replacement flyer (pdf).
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