Lots and lots of Mainers are dumping the contents of their refrigerators and freezers after the power outage resulting from the October 30th windstorm. It's better to be safe than sorry in determining whether something should be thrown away. The temptation to keep food that may be unsafe could be high if you are on assistance. But current recipients of Food Supplement benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may be able to get help with food lost following this week's storm.

In a press release issued Thursday November 2nd that State of Maine said

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is following procedures in federal and state law to issue replacement benefits to Food Supplement recipients who lost power. If recipients had an extended loss of power and lost food they bought with Food Supplement benefits, they can get a supplemental benefit equal to the amount of their loss but not more than their monthly benefit. To do so, applicants will have to follow the established guidelines and processes in place to receive replacement benefits.

"In times like these it is important that we come together to help our neighbors. Those who discarded food they had purchased with SNAP benefits may be eligible for replacement benefits," said DHHS Commissioner Ricker Hamilton. "This is the true purpose of these programs-to provide assistance to the truly needy, especially in these kinds of emergency situations."

You may call the Office for Family Independence at 1- 855-797-4357 to request a form be sent to you, or come in to a regional office.

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