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People calling out of turn, high number of calls cause of DSNAP registration problems, state says

Applicants should call 1-888-524-3578; see application schedule in story below
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Since 7:30 am, Michelle Winfield has been trying to help her 69 year old mother call in to apply for DSNAP; that’s a program for food assistance after a disaster.

“On her call day, which is today, we both began the process of calling the customer service number, and as of right now it’s probably been 200 calls later…nothing,” says Winfield.

Winfield’s mother, Cynthia, lost power when Hurricane Ida hit. She was without electricity for eight days and had to throw out most of her food.

“Now, the money that she needs for bills you know she is having to spend on groceries. You know we are pitching in to help her out, but you know this is a well needed…this is well needed right now,” adds Winfield.

Winfield is determined to get someone on the line, but she’s not the only one frustrated by the phone.

DSNAP workers says since Monday, they had more than 11,000 callers.

They say a majority of callers got applications filed, but some folks were calling on the wrong day.

“A lot of people as far as the complaints we have received, some of the people who are calling in we got a lot of call that are not in Phase 1 and they weren’t A through F. Unfortunately, what that is doing is jamming all of our lines,” says Shavana Howard who is the assistant secretary for Division Family Support within DCFS.

DSNAP is using the alphabet system when callers are supposed to call on a certain day.

Wednesday, it’s N through S. Thursday it’s T through Z. That’s only for people in specific parishes: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Tammy, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

“If this is their day to call and if they are experiencing a busy signal, honestly, I would just wait. Maybe call back in a few hours to see if the call volumes are slowing down,” says Howard.

That’s what Winfield and her mother, Cynthia, will be doing all day, calling and waiting for someone to pick up.

If you have any questions or concerns about DSNAP you can visit their website: http://www.dss.louisiana.gov/page/dsnap

Application Schedule

PHASE 1 – September 20-25

E. Baton Rouge, E. Feliciana, Iberia, Orleans, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Washington, W. Baton Rouge and W. Feliciana

  • Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 20) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept. 21) – G-M
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 22) – N-S
  • Day 4 (Thursday, Sept. 23) – T-Z
  • Day 5 (Friday, Sept. 24) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes
  • Day 6 (Saturday, Sept. 25) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes

PHASE 2 – September 27-October 2

Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Helena, St. Martin (lower St. Martin Parish ZIPs only 70339 & 70380), St. Mary and Tangipahoa

  • Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 27) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, Sept. 28) – G-M
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, Sept. 29) – N-S
  • Day 4 (Thursday, Sept. 30) – T-Z
  • Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 1) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes
  • Day 6 (Saturday, Oct. 2) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes

PHASE 3 – October 4-9

Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne

  • Day 1 (Monday, Oct. 4) – Residents with last names beginning with A-F
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, Oct. 5) – G-M
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, Oct. 6) – N-S
  • Day 4 (Thursday, Oct. 7) – T-Z
  • Day 5 (Friday, Oct. 8) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes
  • Day 6 (Saturday, Oct. 9) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 3 parishes

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