BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services released the totals for the number of people who got some sort of disaster assistance following the historic August flooding.
According to DCFS officials, the department provided almost $80 million in disaster food assistance in 21 parishes that were affected by flooding. More than $48.9 million of that was distributed through Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits, while more than $30.9 million went to regular SNAP households as disaster-related benefits.
In all, DCFS said they helped more than 122,000 households across 21 parishes.
"Over the past three weeks, there were approximately 1,400 DCFS staff throughout the state dedicated to serving flood victims," said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. "We're committed to helping people every day. Times like these remind us how much our work matters."
The DSNAP program is fully funded by the federal government. It provides food assistance for those who do not already receive SNAP benefits and are eligible due to lose of income or disaster-related damages based on federal guidelines.
In Louisiana, the program is run by DCFS with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
"Just as we have in the past, we relied heavily on the assistance of our agency partners, the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police, the Office of Technology Services and other state departments," Walters. "Each played a crucial role in ensuring DSNAP operations went smoothly."
DCFS officials said they are on the look out for any fraudulent claims for aid. Those found to be defrauding the DSNAP program could face prosecution and be forced to pay destitute as well as be disqualified for any future benefits. To report fraud, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/ReportFraud or call 1-888-LA-HELPU (1-888-524-3578) and select option 7.
The following is a full breakdown of the numbers for all the parishes: