Disaster Food Assistance Program Expanded and Now Operating in 48 Iowa Counties

JUNE 25TH, 2008 | Harkin for Senate

Senator Harkin today said that half of Iowa’s counties are now eligible to participate in the Disaster Food Assistance Program. He encouraged Iowans affected by the disaster to seek help in putting food on their tables. The Disaster Food Assistance Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a senior appropriator on the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds USDA programs.

“No Iowan deserves to go hungry, particularly at a time when their lives have literally been turned upside down because of these natural disasters,” said Harkin. “Iowans living in counties hit hardest by the flooding and excessive rainfall need help now. That’s exactly what this program provides – needed assistance in the nick of time. I encourage all residents in these designated counties to take advantage of this program.”

Federal officials have expanded the number of counties eligible for food benefits. They now include: Adams, Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Crawford, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Muscatine, Page, Polk, Scott, Story, Tama, Union, Wapello, Warren, Webster, Winneshiek and Wright counties. Additional counties may be added to this list.

Eligibility is based on household size, income, available cash assets, and the amount of damage caused by tornadoes and flooding. To qualify for relief, a household must have experienced at least one of the following as a result of the disaster:

Loss or inaccessibility of income;

Loss of food;

Damage or destruction of a household’s home or household member’s self-employment business;

Disaster related expenses that will not be reimbursed during the period of the disaster.

Department of Human Services staff will be offering the benefits at county Department of Human Services offices, and at most disaster recovery centers operated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Residents of these counties who have moved away to be with relatives during the flood recovery may apply at a Department of Human Services county office in any part of the state.

Department of Human Services offices are located in every county. For contact information, view the map of DHS offices.

Department of Human Services employees are also being deployed to most FEMA emergency county offices, which are open for extended hours and on weekends. View an updated list of local FEMA offices.

For more information, contact the Iowa Department of Human Services at 877-937-3663.

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