DCFS receives waiver extension to allow hot food purchases

Staff Report

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) requested and received approval for an extension of a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service to allow the purchase of hot foods with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits from eligible retailers through Dec. 31, 2016.

Normally, federal regulations define eligible food purchases with SNAP or DSNAP benefits as "any food or food product intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption."

DCFS requested a waiver specific to the exception in the definition of eligible foods in order to allow the purchase of hot foods and hot food products with SNAP benefits to avoid undue hardship for Louisiana residents impacted by the August severe weather and flooding. This waiver has served an estimated 572,064 Louisiana households.

SNAP and DSNAP are administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.