On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service approved a temporary waiver request from the V.I. Department of Human Services on behalf of the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) recipients. This approval grants permission to SNAP recipients throughout the territory to use their EBT cards to purchase hot food products prepared for immediate consumption.
The request for a waiver was substantiated by households’ loss of food and/or their inability to cook because of Hurricane Irma. The territory’s SNAP recipients will automatically receive replacements that reflect about 75 percent pro-rated of their monthly allotments.
The special disaster rules set forth by the U. S. Department of Agriculture states, “Effective immediately, retail food stores licensed by the Food and Nutrition Service to accept SNAP benefits in the U. S. Virgin Islands may accept SNAP in exchange of hot foods and foods intended to be consumed on retailer premises.”
This notice also advises SNAP authorized retail stores to post a “special notice” in their respective stores informing customers that they can use their SNAP EBT benefits to purchase hot foods, and where practical, may remain on the premises to consume the food.
DHS Commissioner Felecia Blyden joins Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp in thanking the Food and Nutrition Service for its swift action in approving this waiver request.
Commissioner Blyden said, “We continue to pursue opportunities to address disaster-related incidences pertaining to mass care as well as measures for complete recovery.”
This temporary waiver for SNAP recipients will end on Nov. 13.