Newsroom > DHHS News Release

Media are welcome to come to the Nebraska State Office Building at 301 Centennial Mall, South in Lincoln, NE. Governor Heineman will meet with the employees at 8 a.m. in Conference Room Lower Level F. Expected departure will be around 9 a.m. from the north side of the Nebraska State Office Building.


September 11, 2008

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287


Health and Human Service Workers Assist Relief Efforts in Louisiana 

Lincoln – Thirteen employees of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will leave tomorrow for the Gulf Coast region to help process disaster food stamps as a result of Hurricane Gustav.

"Louisiana is experiencing widespread power outages, and the disaster food stamp program helps residents in critical need," said Gov. Heineman. "The fact that Nebraska state employees are willing to share their time, speaks well to our commitment to others in need. People in crisis from natural disasters shouldn’t have to worry about whether they have food for their families."

The federal disaster food stamp program is intended to put food back on the table for low-income people who experience losses from flooding and power outages.

The DHHS employees deploying are experienced in processing food stamp benefits and have worked with the disaster food stamp program. They come from DHHS offices all across the state, ranging from Rushville to Omaha. They will be assigned to the southern part of Louisiana and will be gone for up to two weeks. The State of Louisiana will reimburse Nebraska for expenses for lodging, meals and transportation.

"We learned how devastating power outages can be after several Nebraska communities were hit by summer storms, leaving thousands of Nebraskans temporarily without electricity," said Gov. Heineman. "I want to thank each state employee who will be deploying to lend a hand to communities and people in need."

Todd Landry, director of the DHHS Division of Children and Family Services, said, "We have a well-trained work force, and I’m not surprised that these employees are willing to respond to another state’s need."

"Federal USDA staff who visited Omaha were impressed with how DHHS employees responded to the need and adjusted when necessary to get the job done," Landry said. "I'm proud of our staff and the many volunteers who helped."

As a result of several summer storms, DHHS approved one-month's worth of disaster benefits for 23,557 households statewide, bringing over $11 million of federal funds into Nebraska for food purchases.