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News Release

September 23, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
Robert Allers, Commissioner of Social Services
(845) 486-3001

Disaster Food Stamp Benefits Available for Storm Victims


Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Department of Social Services Commissioner Robert Allers announced applications are currently been accepted for Disaster Food Stamp Benefits from residents of Dutchess County who were impacted by the Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.   Dutchess County is one of 15 counties statewide where applications will be accepted for until next Thursday, September 29th, 2011 as part of a statewide recovery effort.

“Many families and individuals who normally would not apply for food stamp benefits may have severely impacted by damage from Tropical Storms Irene and/or Lee,” said Social Services Commissioner Robert Allers.   “The Disaster Food Stamp Benefits Program is designed to help those most severely impacted by the storms provide meals for their families.  It is important that families act quickly and apply for this help, as it is only available for a limited time.”

Under the Disaster Food Stamp Benefits Program, standard eligibility criteria are relaxed so those who may not normally qualify for food stamps can receive help to purchase food. Verification rules are also eased, reducing administrative burdens for applicants who may not have access to records normally used for verification in the aftermath of a disaster.

To qualify for disaster food stamp benefits, applicants:

  • Must have lived in Dutchess County at the time of the disaster. Applicants may be eligible if they are temporarily living outside of the disaster area but within the State at the time of the disaster.

  • Must plan on purchasing food during the month of September.

  • Must have experienced at least one of the following:

    • Loss of food or food stamp benefits.

    • Damage to, or the destruction of, the household’s home or self-employment business.

    • Disaster-related expenses not expected to be reimbursed during the month of September (e.g. home or business repairs, temporary shelter expenses, etc.).

    • Loss or inaccessibility of income including reduction or termination of income, or a delay in receipt of income for half a month.

    • Inaccessible liquid resources (e.g. banks are closed due to the disaster).

The Federal government oversees the Food Stamp Program, which is operated in New York State by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and administered locally by the Dutchess County Department of Social Services.

To apply for Disaster Food Stamp benefits, call the Dutchess County Department of Social Services at (8450 486-3000 or apply in person at 60 Market Street in the City of Poughkeepsie.

For more information about disaster relief assistance, visit and click on the “Dealing with Flooding and the Aftermath of Irene” link on the homepage.


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