The state is making emergency food assistance available to residents in the 14 Iowa counties declared federal disaster areas after the recent tornadoes, severe storms and flooding. Roger Munns, spokesman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, says the bout of violent weather has damaged hundreds of homes — and likely hundreds of kitchens and refrigerators too.If you had to throw away food because you lost power and your food spoiled, or if your refrigerator got swamped by floodwaters — or perhaps you can’t even find your refrigerator after a tornado tossed it somewhere — Munns says the emergency food assistance may be very helpful. Once known as food stamps, Munns says the food assistance is going to be very welcome in some households, as he says when you’re trying to reorganize your life and belongings after a major disaster, you don’t need to be worrying about having the money to buy groceries. He says storm and flood victims will be put on the fast-track to getting the assistance.Munns says D-H-S is relaxing the normal standards for approval. Usually, you’d have to come up with various amounts of proof of income and resources but many of those requirements are being skipped, given the circumstances. He says the benefits are still based on household income, which is roughly based on a monthly income of two-thousand dollars or less for a family of four. Munns says they’ve made it much easier to apply by shrinking the application form by about 80-percent. Also, the benefit is only for one month with the maximum payout of 471-dollars for a family of four, although the 30-day period can be extended. The food assistance comes in the form of a debit-like swipe card, not paper “stamps.” For more information, call 877-YES-FOOD.
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