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Charlotte Area News

More Than 720,000 Received Food Assistance Following Hurricane Florence

Winds from Florence sent a tree crashing down on Nichole Sanchez's rental home on the night of Sept 14.
Nichole Sanchez

Gov. Roy Cooper's office says more than 720,000 people across the state have received some form of food assistance in the seven weeks after Hurricane Florence.

The hurricane, which made landfall in September, caused a historic $17 billion in damages.

Assistance from the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or "D-SNAP," was made available to 304,000 households in 34 eligible counties impacted by the hurricane, according to Cooper's office. More than 300,000 EBT cards were distributed through the counties.

"When your life has just been turned upside down by a disaster, help feeding your family is critical," Cooper said in a statement. "Disaster flood assistance helped families get through those first few weeks after Florence hit."

Those enrolled in the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program saw a change in flexibility, allowing them to replace food lost due to the storm and purchase hot meals. Benefits will continue to renew automatically for the next six months.

Many of those impacted were separately enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) prior to the storm. Those households received one month of food benefits.

Additional help, including temporary housing, home repairs and property replacement is available to storm survivors from FEMA until the application deadline of Dec. 13.