NEW ORLEANS —
Only about half of the people calling from Louisiana parishes impacted by Hurricane Ida to apply for food stamps have been approved, according to state officials. They urge applicants to make sure they are qualified to receive the benefits and to call only on the days assigned to their parish.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services confirmed reports that callers have struggled to get through, despite some 700 employees who are answering phones. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said an additional 120 staff members provide support to the team helping applicants to the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP).
Applicants for DSNAP are not being accepted in person, as was the process after past disasters, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We know that we have people that were frustrated because they couldn't get through, or they left a number to call back and they didn't get a call back," Walters said. "We've been hearing from them, we're capturing as many of them as we possibly can."