$4.2 million spent to distribute EBR food stamps - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

$4.2 million spent to distribute EBR food stamps

DSNAP site after Hurricane Isaac DSNAP site after Hurricane Isaac
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The process of operating emergency food stamp distribution sites tied to Hurricane Isaac topped $4.2 million dollars in East Baton Rouge parish alone, according to records examined by the 9News I-Team. The program distributed $12.4 million in emergency aid.

Louisiana's Department of Children & Family Services set up six distribution sites for residents of East Baton Rouge parish to apply for the emergency aid in September. The locations remained open for one week.

Expenses included items like tables, chairs, tents, portable toilets, generators, security and on-site managers. Nearly 1,800 state workers were on hand at the sites to process applications.

The state ordered 240 temporary toilets for all of the locations. Four of the six locations already had permanent restrooms so they did not need as many temporary toilets. However, two of the locations, the former Walmart store in Baker and the former Sam's Club on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, did not have permanent restroom facilities. 82 temporary toilets were delivered to the former Walmart store.  The former's Sam's Club received 112 temporary toilets for the week. The total cost for all 240 temporary toilets was $360,214.00, according to records.

Piccadilly Restaurants won the bid to provide food and snacks for the six locations. The total bill for that service was $491,807.45, according to state records. The state says it was cheaper to have food catered at the locations than to reimburse state workers for buying their own meals. Many of the state workers would have qualified for reimbursement because they traveled from other parts of the state to work at the sites.

The companies that provided many of the items used at the distribution site were placed under contracts by the state many months in advance of hurricane season. The state says that is crucial to do because, many times, the items are needed with very little notice.

The $4.2 million dollar expense to operate the sites does not include any wages for employees. Louisiana paid for half of the cost with the federal government picking up the other half, state officials say.

The state says, this time around, the process ran very smoothly and most applicants were in and out of locations in less than 30 minutes. That's a stark contrast to how the process worked four years ago during Hurricane Gustav. That's when application sites had extremely long lines and limited restroom facilities. The fiasco during Gustav eventually led to the resignation of the head of the state agency that distributes food stamps.

Trey Williams, spokesman for Louisiana's Department of Children & Family Services, says Louisiana's program is now so successful that it is used as a model for other states.   
 
Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Advocacy organization calls for EBR School Board member to resign

    Advocacy organization calls for EBR School Board member to resign

    A Louisiana based organization is calling for the resignation of East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member, Connie Bernard, following the surfacing of a video in which Bernard can be seen engaging in an argument and physical dispute at a neighbor's residence.  Bernard was issued a summons by deputies after causing a disturbance at a neighbor's home where she was captured on video grabbing a young man by the neck and screaming profane language. RELATED: http://www.wa...

    More >>

    A Louisiana based organization is calling for the resignation of East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member, Connie Bernard, following the surfacing of a video in which Bernard can be seen engaging in an argument and physical dispute at a neighbor's residence.  Bernard was issued a summons by deputies after causing a disturbance at a neighbor's home where she was captured on video grabbing a young man by the neck and screaming profane language. RELATED: http://www.wa...

    More >>
  • Educators organize to encourage ExxonMobil CEO to withdraw tax break requests

    Educators organize to encourage ExxonMobil CEO to withdraw tax break requests

    Several groups advocating for the interests of educators and "Together Baton Rouge" gathered outside of a School Board meeting Thursday to publicly request a meeting with the CEO of ExxonMobil, hopeful they'd be able to persuade him to withdraw a request that would exempt Exxon from paying school property taxes on more than 150 million dollars of the company's property.  

    More >>

    Several groups advocating for the interests of educators and "Together Baton Rouge" gathered outside of a School Board meeting Thursday to publicly request a meeting with the CEO of ExxonMobil, hopeful they'd be able to persuade him to withdraw a request that would exempt Exxon from paying school property taxes on more than 150 million dollars of the company's property.  

    More >>
  • LDH downplays reports of measles outbreak; calls it a ‘misinterpretation of language’

    LDH downplays reports of measles outbreak; calls it a ‘misinterpretation of language’

    Source: CDCSource: CDC

    The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) says there is no measles outbreak in the United States, nor in Louisiana. This week it was reported that 2018 is on pace to be the worst year for measles since 2014 when there were 667 reported cases. According to the latest report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 107 people from 21 states diagnosed with measles from January 1 to July 14, 2018. Louisiana is among those states where at least one case ha...

    More >>

    The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) says there is no measles outbreak in the United States, nor in Louisiana. This week it was reported that 2018 is on pace to be the worst year for measles since 2014 when there were 667 reported cases. According to the latest report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been 107 people from 21 states diagnosed with measles from January 1 to July 14, 2018. Louisiana is among those states where at least one case ha...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly