WASHINGTON – Rhode Islanders who lost food during power outages from Winter Storm Nemo are eligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sen. Jack Reed announced Thursday.
The one-time food aid of up to $2.1 million could help an estimated 20,400 households in the Ocean State, according to a release. The funds are a replacement of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
“The power outages from this storm took a heavy toll on some of our most vulnerable citizens, particularly seniors and low-income families,” said Reed in prepared remarks. “This federal funding will help those who are still struggling to replenish food that spoiled due to the storm.”
Due to the power outages caused by the blizzard that hit Rhode Island on Feb. 8, the state applied for a waiver from the government to issue mass replacement cards for people receiving SNAP benefits who lost food due to the storm.
The affected communities are: Barrington, Bristol, Central Falls, Charleston, East Providence, Exeter, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, North Kingstown, Portsmouth, Richmond, South Kingstown, Tiverton, Warren and Westerly.
According to the release, the federal funds will go to the state, which is eligible for up to $2.1 million in assistance. The total amount distributed will depend on how many eligible Rhode Islanders seek assistance.