Long Delay In Getting Disaster Food Stamps

Several hundred people waited outside for hours Wednesday to receive Hurricane Irene emergency food benefits in Pitt County.

Late in the afternoon there were still hundreds of people standing outside the county complex on Government Circle.

While no one at the Department of Social Services would speak with WITN about the delay, several of those in line said a system glitch delayed the delivery of the benefit cards.


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The deadline to apply for disaster food stamps in several counties across Eastern Carolina is Wednesday Sept. 14.

Residents of Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Hertford, Johnston, Jones, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Vance, Warren, Washington and Wilson counties must submit applications by the end of the day.

The program refers to "Disaster Food and Nutrition Services Benefits," which were formerly known as food stamps.

Here are some important notes:

- The program is open for those who do not currently qualify for food stamps. (Households that currently receive food and nutrition services benefits will automatically receive a replacement of a portion of their august 2011 benefits. These households do not need to apply for the disaster food and nutrition services program.)
-To qualify for the disaster food stamps, applicants must meet certain criteria: their home was damaged or destroyed, they have disaster-related expenses, they lost income or they lost food.
-Officials say eligibility is based on available income and resources.

For those who are applying, you need to provide proof of identity, proof of residency (like a utility bill) as well as the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for all members of your household.

There is a five-day window once counties start accepting applications. If you are approved, the temporary assistance is for one month.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ME2 Location: Pitt County on Sep 22, 2011 at 07:35 AM
    I sure hope they will be on the card by Saturday. I was in the line the Saturday they started it and still have not gotten my benefits on my card. Can someone from DSS please give us an update.
  • by Me Location: Pitt County on Sep 20, 2011 at 08:50 AM
    I just wanted to inform those that will be receiving disaster food stamps. I was told that the benefits should be on the card by this Saturday. Good Luck
    • reply
      by Pitt County on Sep 21, 2011 at 04:52 AM in reply to Me
      This apparently is true. I picked my card up last Tuesday and the benefits were on the card yesterday morning. I do not know what kind of order DSS is putting the information in, but it will be there.
  • by Proud Mother on Sep 19, 2011 at 06:05 PM
    Tay, I am not trying to judge,I have been down and out myself. As a single mother, full time student and full time employee, I work very hard and at times I just don't have enough to buy Tide so I get Trend, or instead of name brand I go generic. And even at other times I had to go door to door and offer to do yard work just to pay for school pictures or get a new pair of pants for my daughter. MY problem is that a lot of people who recieve help from the gov't are NOT living within their means. For me that is a problem, if you are getting help from the govt than you should have to shop with coupons and buy generic and not going out with D&G sunglasses with your high priced purse!!Those are not necessities. The last time I checked Food, Housing, Clothing,and medical neccesties are the only essentials. I would love to buy name brand and have all the best, however at this time I can't. People who receive Government assistance should not have internet service THEY obviously cannot afford it! It makes me crazy to see someone in front of me at the grocery store with hundreds of dollars of food paying with a food stamp card while talking on their smart phone, high priced clothing, Vera Bradley purse and gold all over. Come on really??? It makes me mad and no one can justify that to me!! Its my opinion and I am entitled to it. I don’t get any assistance because I watch TV and see starving kids out their that REALLY deserve it!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:29 PM in reply to Proud Mother
      Proud mother I agree with you. But being I'm white, I get called a racist just for telling the truth like you did. Also the senerio you described.... well multiply that by MILLIONS of people in America. It's white and black people taking advantage of the system. Actually more white than black just because of the population difference. I feel that anyone receiving a check should have to take a drug test, have to do community service, pick up trash, ect. They should have to WORK for this check, just like I have to work for mine. There has to be some way to police these peoples finances and cut their funds if they indeed do not need assistence.
  • by Tay Location: Martin County on Sep 18, 2011 at 08:53 PM
    I have read several of the comments made up here and several of them think that everyone gets their food stamps at the being of the month, when actually not everyone does. The system used by the Food Stamp program goes by the last number of your SS number, which means some people don't receive their benefits until the middle of the month. I know that some people that applied for assistance may not have needed it but before you make comments about people working harder and stop letting the government pay your way, you need to stop and think before you open your mouth, until you have walked in someone else shoes and know what is going on in their lives can you judge them, so don't be so quick to judge them when they apply for help.
  • by Melvin on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:27 PM
    Vickie, I'll take one, are you buying it with your foodstamp card?
  • by Kim Siemion on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:12 PM
    Yes Vickie, my favorite is sugar cookies with the green sprinkles, however they are only sold around Christmas. But thank you for asking.
  • by upset in dc Location: duplin county on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM
    I was told that you had to go and apply to get the replacement food stamps in Duplin County that it was not automatically given to you so since I listened to the news report I dont get any of my food lost replaced so congratulations to the ones who did but Im out
  • by Janie Mae on Sep 16, 2011 at 05:09 PM
    Here's the policy that governed Pitt County's (1 of 24 counties)disaster program. It clearly states that benefits should be on the EBT cards within 3 calendar days of the application. It also states people that were receiving FNS at the time of Irene could apply for a supplement during the DFNS application period. Recipients that had received a replacement right after Irene received an automatic supplement and did not have to apply during the DFNS application period.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2011 at 04:50 PM
    I have a few friends that receive around 100 a month in food stamps. Some of them told me today that yesterday they received between 500-700 extra on their card. Wow, maybe I should quit my job and live off the government!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Sep 17, 2011 at 02:38 PM in reply to
      If this is true i'll call my boss now.My neighbor gets $16.00 a month and they only gave her $50.00.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Sep 20, 2011 at 10:31 PM in reply to
        well, that is 4-5 times more than what she was receiving. The amounts are the same whem multiplied. Not sure how they can justify $ 700/month though.
    • reply
      by DSS Worker on Sep 21, 2011 at 04:55 AM in reply to
      It depends on the number of people living in the house. This is why to apply you had to have SS#'s of everyone living in the home, DOB's of everyone living in the home and a bill sent to the address that was printed on your ID's. Please, if you do not know what you are talking about, DO NOT COMMENT.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2011 at 04:29 PM
    Assist those that really need it. Put a stop to this charade.
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