DCFS issues $103.8 million in DSNAP benefits - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

DCFS issues $103.8 million in DSNAP benefits

Information from Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services:

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) reported it issued $103,842,960 in Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits in the 21 parishes approved for assistance after Hurricane Isaac.

Since Sept. 5 when the program launched in nine initial parishes, 263,459 households have received assistance. The last parish to have DSNAP was East Baton Rouge Parish, which concluded on Friday, September 28.

The totals for DSNAP benefits in each parish are as follows:

Parish

DSNAP Cards

DSNAP Total

Ascension

6,084

$2,788,378

Assumption

2,220

$827,316

East Baton Rouge

34,439

$12,474,872

East Feliciana

1,680

$610,443

Iberville

2,976

$1,057,613

Jefferson

64,543

$27,222,322

Lafourche

9,782

$4,184,057

Livingston

6,959

$3,253,218

Orleans

57,995

$19,366,279

Plaquemines

3,904

$1,684,702

St. Bernard

5,333

$2,278,072

St. Charles

4,468

$1,961,889

St. Helena

1,361

$477,227

St. James

3,004

$1,149,855

St. John the Baptist

8,361

$3,457,151

St. Mary

6,373

$2,560,866

St. Tammany

14,774

$6,649,369

Tangipahoa

11,597

$4,429,426

Terrebonne

10,802

$4,602,163

Washington

5,961

$2,213,212

West Feliciana

843

$321,530

Trey Williams, spokesman for the Department of Children and Family Services, said the hardest hit parishes were first to get help with a loss of food that put a financial strain on families.

"When that occurs we put a recommendation in to the USDA requesting DSNAP for that parish," Williams said.

Jefferson Parish raked in the most benefits. But the amounts listed for St. John and Plaquemines, two of the hardest hit parishes in the state, were significantly less than the dollar amount given to East Baton Rouge.

Williams notes, however, when broken down into percentages, the majority of St. John and Plaquemines Parishes got assistance whereas less than half of East Baton Rouge households received the benefits.

"The parish was without power for at least 48 hours for 50 percent of the parish. East Baton Rouge Parish did meet that," Williams said.

While the total dollar amount for assistance after Isaac rang in over a hundred million, Williams said it was a third less than the benefits given to households during the 2008 hurricane that hit Louisiana.

"Hurricane Gustav we saw the largest ever in history of the country," Williams said.

Williams added, the state put fraud investigators at each DSNAP location. They are currently in the process of reviewing "flagged" applications. 

The Department said attempts to defraud the DSNAP program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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