After the recent, powerful ice storm that hit Oregon, residents who qualify for food assistance programs now have the opportunity to request replacement Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, known as SNAP benefits, if they were forced to discard perishable items due to power outages.
Individuals impacted by the ice storm have a 10-day window from the time they disposed of the spoiled food to report the loss and request replacement food stamps. Jacki Ward Kehrwald, spokesperson for the Portland-based nonprofit Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, emphasized that affected SNAP users can initiate this process by reaching out to the Oregon Department of Human Services.
How to Claim Lost SNAP Benefits
Jacki Ward Kehrwald, spokesperson for Portland-based nonprofit Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, explained the process to reclaim those lost food stamps. “They’ll request that you make a list of what food you had to throw away, and an estimated cost,” she said. “And then once that is approved, that amount will be returned to your EBT card, so you can then go to the grocery store and replace that much-needed food.”
There are a few ways where you can report your lost food stamps. First, you can call (800) 699-9075, or find more information on the ODHS website. Finally, there’s the email [email protected] where you can do the informing.
The ice storm has spiked food insecurity all over Oregon, the expert explained. “You have kids who are at home so they’re not accessing meals at school,” she said. “On top of that, to throw away food because of a power outage or a burst pipe can be really devastating. It’s important that people know that they don’t have to go through that alone, this system is available, and we really hope people reach out to get those replacements.”
As per the CDC guidelines, it’s advisable to discard perishables in your refrigerator if you’ve experienced a four-hour power outage. On the bright side, food stored in a fully-packed freezer, as long as you keep it closed to retain the cold, can stay fresh for up to 48 hours. If your freezer is only half-full, you still have a window of 24 hours to keep your food in good condition without power. Stay food-safe, and let’s make sure those groceries stay as fresh as possible.
Maximum SNAP Benefits in Oregon in 2024
For the current period from October 2023 to September 2024, the minimum benefit remains steady at $23 across the 48 states and Washington, D.C. On a brighter note, the maximum allotments for SNAP benefits during the same period vary based on household size, providing essential support.
For instance, a one-person household can receive up to $291, while larger households, like a family of your members could claim up to $$973 a month. Finally, those with eight members, may be eligible for a maximum allotment of $1,751. Every additional member will add $219 to the monthly allotment.
It’s a great idea to consider purchasing non-perishable groceries with food stamps. Non-perishable items often have a longer shelf life, allowing you to stock up on essentials that can last for an extended period, and they’ll not get spoiled after power outages.