TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Because of power outages and displacement from homes caused by Hurricane Michael in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has approved several waivers.
For Florida, the waiver allows affected SNAP households to receive an additional benefit in the amount of 40% of their October SNAP benefit. This will allow households to replace perishable food lost as a result of the hurricane. Florida intends to issue these automatic replacement benefits as early as October 15.
A waiver allowing the sale of hot foods throughout Florida through October 31 was approved on Monday, but it may take 24 to 36 hours for Florida retailers to implement this change. The Florida counties included in the SNAP waivers are Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington.
Georgia also issued remaining October benefits early, on October 14. Normal issuance in Georgia is from the 5th through the 23rd of each month. Those with issuance dates from the 15th through the 23rd already should have received their SNAP benefits.
In North Carolina, the governor issued an amendment to the existing State of Emergency for North Carolina under Executive Order No. 77, effective on October 11. The order will remain in effect 30 days or until rescinded. These do apply to motor and heating fuels. The previous state of emergency and waivers remain in effect from Hurricane Michael and Florence, also.
New Executive Order No. 77 declares a state of emergency in the following additional counties in the State of North Carolina for 30 days or until rescinded: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenberg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watagua, Wilkes and Yancey. This expands the state of emergency for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Michael to all 100 counties.