Final day to apply for D-SNAP benefits

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Friday is the last day to apply for D-SNAP benefits for those in need of food assistance after Hurricane Harvey.

About 1,000 people lined up around 11 a.m. outside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Many of them arrived Thursday around 5 p.m. hoping to qualify for a Lone Star card through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The line wrapped around the building several blocks away; about a mile long.

The program, the qualification for which is based on income and expenses from Harvey, is designed to help families most in need for up to two months. 

"It was stressful; very frustrating. I'm tired. I'm hungry," said Christopher McCullen, who waited since 11 p.m. Thursday.

One by one, thousands of people marched into the GRB. Many waited almost 15 hours in line for a Lone Star Card through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission said it has taken 80,000 applicants at a location in Greenspoint Mall since Sept. 22.

Applicants at GRB said they need the benefits to help them through this tough time. Many lost their jobs during Harvey, and many lost their homes. 

The card could pay for almost two months' worth of benefits if you qualify.

"It will help as far as getting food now, because we (would) get food at our employers, but we don't have that option anymore," said Felicia Williams, who also waited in line.

It was controlled chaos. There were no issues with some extra security stationed at every turn.

The line stretched all the way around the building because Friday is the last day to apply.

People said they were tired and a bit frustrated with the whole process.

"It's just so unfair. You see this giant line and it's a mile and a half long and I got here early, and I'm paying for parking. This is the third time I've come down to the GRB. They should at least give you free parking," Karen said.

GRB is the last location to apply for D-SNAP benefits. The convention center is open Friday from 8 a.m. until  7 p.m.

You must apply in person with a government-issued ID.

Because of long lines, a street fest at 10 a.m. and an Astros game at 1 p.m., people are encouraged to take the park and ride or the shuttles to get around.

For D-SNAP details, go to www.hhs.texas.gov/d-snap or dial 211.

To be eligible, you must:

Be from a county that has been declared a federal disaster area.
Have experienced a loss of income, destruction of your home or a disaster-related expense, such as temporary shelter or home repairs.
Not have been getting regular SNAP benefits at the time of the disaster.
Meet certain income limits. 

Applying for D-SNAP

You must apply in person at a designated D-SNAP location in your county of residence. You will not be able to apply online. D-SNAP applications will be accepted for a limited amount of time in each county. See below for designated D-SNAP locations.

Important: HHS is encouraging only the applicant to visit the application sites. Additional family members are creating longer lines and more challenges. Due to limited space, HHS is not allowing individuals who are not applying into the interviewing area; they are being asked to wait in designated areas.

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