DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local organizations and government officials are working to get fresh food to people impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes, and those receiving SNAP benefits can have their food replaced if it was lost due to the power outages.
“You can’t really fill up your refrigerator because we don’t know if the electric is going to stay on,” says Rita Hamilton, whose Harrison Township home was damaged by a tornado.
For people still without power, keeping fresh food in the house isn’t easy.
So far, officials at the Foodbank say they’ve distributed nearly 60,000 pounds of non-perishable food and 1.2 million bottles of water.
“If you need food, if you have been hit by the tornado, if you lost power throughout some time, just if you’re struggling to make ends meet, come see us,” says Lee Lauren Truesdale, Chief Development Officer with the Foodbank.
She says the biggest need right now is non-perishable, easy-to-open foods that are not difficult to cook. This includes canned goods with pop-tops that do not require a can opener, says Truesdale.
“We’re getting reports of areas in need. As we’re fielding those phone calls, as Red Cross is calling us and letting us know about these communities, we’re going out there as we can,” says Truesdale.
Officials say people already receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are eligible to receive funding to replace any food lost due to a power outage.
Officials say to qualify, your home must have been without power for at least four hours. The deadline to apply is Thursday and so far, Montgomery County officials say they’ve received about 2,400 applications.
“We had a lot of people on assistance in the neighborhoods affected, and we’re really trying to get out in the field to help them as best we can,” says Kevin Lavoie with Montgomery County Job and Family Services.
During the month of June, people can pick up food at the Dayton Foodbank’s drive-thru Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Truesdale. You do not need to be receiving SNAP benefits to pick up food, she added.
Montgomery County Job and Family Services’ ‘On The Move’ team will be available in several locations to help people turn in their replacement SNAP applications by the Thursday deadline.
Once processed, it will take between 7 and 10 days for the benefit to load onto the EBT cards of those who qualify.
People can turn in their applications at the following locations:
- EC Doren Library: 701 Troy Street, 9-5 W/Th
- Furst Florist: 1306 Troy St 45404, 9-5 W/Th
- New City Blast Center: 2437 Ontario Ave 45414, 9-5 W/Th
- The Arena: 4515 Salem Ave, 45415, 9-5 W/TH
- Harrison Township community center, 5945 Dixie. Thursday only 9-4
The Job Center at 1111 S. Edwin C. Moses Blvd. will also be open between 7:30 am and 5 pm.
For more information on SNAP benefits and the application to receive replacement benefits, click here.