Bertie, Gates approved for Food/Nutrition assistance

Published 9:46 am Thursday, October 27, 2016

RALEIGH – Two local counties are among an additional 13 counties where citizens are eligible to receive Disaster Food and Nutrition Service benefits in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Governor Pat McCrory announced on Tuesday that Bertie and Gates counties were added to the list of those approved for benefits, which comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The addition of these 13 counties to the 18 counties approved last week is imperative to the recovery of our citizens after Hurricane Matthew,” McCrory said.

This benefit is for individuals who are not current recipients of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), or food stamp benefits. It is approved for residents of Bertie and Gates counties, along with Craven, Edgecombe, Lee, Martin, Moore, Nash, Onslow, Pitt, Wake, Washington and Wilson. All were earlier declared as major disasters areas eligible for federal assistance just a few days after the hurricane struck.

Residents in the impacted counties who are not currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services benefits may qualify for disaster assistance for a one-month period if they have suffered losses from Hurricane Matthew, including destroyed or damaged homes, disaster-related expenses, and loss of income or food as a result of power outage or household flooding

The federal government determines eligibility based on available income and resources.

Those applying for Disaster Food and Nutrition Services benefits must provide proof of identity along with proof of residency (if available). Applicants must apply in the county where they reside.

Applications will be accepted in Bertie and Gates counties over a five-day period (Oct. 27-31). Both counties are using their respective Department of Social Services office to accept these applications and both will be open on those aforementioned dates from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Bertie County DSS is located at 110 Jasper Bazemore Lane in Windsor. Gates County’s DSS office is at 122 Main Street in Gatesville.

Those making applications are required to provide an acceptable photo ID, Social Security Number and date of birth for each household member (do not need Social Security Cards, just the number); and the amount of take home pay for each household member. Total income received (or expected to be received) between Oct. 7 through Nov. 6 plus available resources, minus a deduction for disaster-related expenses and shelter expenses, shall not exceed federal income limits.

All Disaster FNS Benefits are placed on an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The applicant will receive an EBT card from the social worker if deemed eligible after completing the applications. If you need assistance with using the EBT card, contact the NC EBT Call Center at 1-888-622-7328.

EBT cards can be used at any store that accepts FNS EBT cards. Only food, seeds, or plants for a garden to grow food may be purchased with the EBT card. You may also purchase infant formula, ice, and drinking water. Prepared hot foods may be bought in stores that accept EBT cards until Nov. 14. You cannot purchase paper items, soap, vitamins, diapers, medicine, pet foods, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages with these benefits.