Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2008

CONTACT
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313, kathie.osterman@dhhs.ne.gov

Sound bites from Todd Landry, Director of the Division of Children and Family Services, are available at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

 

Two Disaster Food Stamp Assistance Sites to Close This Week

Final site to close Monday, July 21

Toll Free Lines Available for Questions

Lincoln – Shorter lines for disaster Food Stamp assistance in Omaha means two sites will close this week, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A toll free helpline is also available if people cannot access their benefits after 10 days.

All three sites will be open today (Thursday) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are:

  • Salvation Army gymnasium, 24 th and Pratt
  • Family Resource Center, 3040 Lake St.
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, 23 rd and O St.

The Family Resource Center site, at 3040 Lake, will close at the end of today (Thursday). Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall, at 23 rd and O St., will close at the end of Friday.

The largest site, the Salvation Army gymnasium at 24 th and Pratt, will be open both Saturday, July 19, and Monday, July 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will then close. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has approved the program to run through Monday.

"The number of people coming to the sites hit a high on July 9 with over 3,300 applications approved that day," said Todd Landry, the director of the DHHS division of Children and Family Services. "We were down to about 1,350 applications yesterday and believe that by Saturday we can accommodate people at one location."

Barry DeJong, DHHS Eastern Service Area administrator, said that as of Wednesday the program has helped over 18,300 Omaha families. "This has been a phenomenal effort to help so many people in such a short time. We're helping people put food back on the dinner table and in the fridge, and putting dollars back into the local economy."

Landry said the intent of the federal disaster program is to provide food relief to low income families who meet income guidelines, live or work in a declared disaster area and had disaster-related damage or expenses.

Help lines

Because of the massive response, it's taking a few days longer than expected to process the applications. DHHS has established a special short-term Help Line to answer questions for people who are not able to access their accounts 10 days after they apply. That number is 1-800-548-5296. This number may experience a heavy call volume. Callers should be patient, and the call will roll over to the next available person.

The normal toll free number on the back of the card, 1-877-247-6328, can also be used to determine if benefits are available on the card, however problems or other inquiries should be reported to the other number.

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  Please see the attached Spanish version of this news release below.
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