Puerto Ricans Who’ve Come to RI Following Natural Disasters May be Eligible for Food Assistance

CRANSTON, R.I. (October 11, 2017) – The US Department of Agriculture has advised the
RI Department of Human Services that Americans who’ve left their homes in Puerto
Rico due to Hurricanes Maria and Irma may be eligible for temporary SNAP benefits.
Puerto Ricans who are recipients of the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) and have
left their homes temporarily may be eligible to receive two months of federally
funded SNAP benefits. Courtney Hawkins, Director of the RI Department of Human
Services encourages those in need to seek assistance. “Rhode Island welcomes these
American citizens who have sought temporary shelter here after evacuating due to
Hurricanes Maria and Irma to apply for food assistance. We have bi-lingual staff
available to process these short-term benefits and encourage all impacted by those
devastating storms to get the help they need while they are guests in our State.”
The temporary benefits are only available to those who complete a SNAP application
before October 31 and agree to close their NAP case once they are able to do so.
Applications may be completed on-line at healthyrhode.ri.gov and paper applications
may be sent to any of the six DHS offices statewide. Puerto Rican evacuees with
questions may contact the DHS call center by calling 855-MY-RIDHS (1-855-697-4347).
Puerto Ricans who plan to stay in RI and those who had not been NAP recipients, are
not eligible for this temporary program but may apply for regular SNAP benefits.