What you need to know about D-SNAP benefits

By Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

HOUSTON - What is D-SNAP?

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a short-term federal food assistance program meant to help those recovering from disaster. The benefits include food assistance cards, or Lone Star Cards, that will have money loaded onto them. People who are eligible can use the cards at participating grocery stores at no cost.

"Benefits are loaded on a Lone Star Card within three days of applying, and the amount is equal to two months of the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, based on household size," according to Texas Health and Human Services' website.

Who is eligible for benefits?

The only requirements are that you mus 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. You are not eligible if you are already getting regular SNAP food benefits. 

You also must meet certain income limits.

Where can you apply for benefits now?

Public officials, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, asked the governor to extend the deadline. The county was granted a three-day extension from Wednesday to Friday. People will be served every day from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Where: Alexander Deussen Park, 12303 Sonnier St., Houston.

"A Saturday ago, we got permission to open up sites. ... We have established a Metro shuttle program that has been working excellently," Jackson Lee said.

The shuttle service goes from 7-5 p.m.

Where are the pick up sites:

-- Tabernacle of Praise, 8814 Tidwell Road, Houston (Parking Lot).
-- J.J. Robertson Family Life Center,4810 Redbud St., Houston (Parking Lot).
-- Acres Home Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery Road, Houston  (Parking Lot).

How long is the wait?

Many people waited several hours the first day of the extension. Several people parked and walked from their cars.

"It was long and horrible. It was about 1.5 hours," said Dominic Jones. He walked more than a mile to get in line. He then waited in line.

Traffic jammed streets for hours, clogging all roads leading into the park.

On Thursday, however, traffic was moving smoothly and people reported waiting merely 20 minutes in line with no traffic.

"Everything is going smoothly, lots of people, but orderly," said organizers with Texas Health and Human Services.

Many people prepared by bringing water and umbrellas. Organizers advised that only the head of household go to apply.

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