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PRESS RELEASE

DSS Reopens Disaster Food Stamp Site in Lafourche Parish Ahead of Schedule to Meet Public Need
Department of Social Services News Update
BATON ROUGE , La. (September 14, 2008) - In an effort to meet the needs of families in Lafourche Parish following hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the Department of Social Services has worked tirelessly to reopen the Disaster Food Stamp application site at Peltier Park in Thibodaux.

Today, the site will open at noon and close at 6 p.m. Starting tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 15, the site will resume normal operating hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

DSS Secretary Ann Silverberg Williamson said, “While initially there were concerns about the readiness of the site, the needs of the people of Lafourche necessitated this type of response. Our workers are on the ground and will be able to accept applications today at noon. 

“As always, our primary concern is for the comfort and safety of our citizens. Once we were able to make sure the site was ready for the public, we moved quickly to get it open and running,” Williamson said.

DSS logistics staff met early this morning to coordinate with OK’s Cascade Company to ensure site clean-up and set-up operations. As soon as those plans were in place, DSS deployed staff to the Peltier Park site.

Applicants are being asked to continue to monitor the DSS Web site for the most current information regarding site openings and hours of operation.

Participants in the regular state Food Stamp Program do not need to apply for disaster aid because any revised benefits will automatically be added to their current Electronic Benefit card.

Individuals with disabilities can designate an authorized representative to apply for Disaster Food Stamps on their behalf. Also, each site manager has developed special procedures for assisting the disabled. Applicants with these special needs should make themselves known to the site manager or staff at the site

In order to help elderly applicants, Council on Aging staff members have been trained to administer Disaster Food Stamps. People 60 years of age or older should contact their local parish Councils on Aging for the nearest Disaster Food Stamp Assistance Application Site for seniors. If the local Council on Aging is not available, seniors should contact the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs at 1-877-340-9100.

For information on site schedules and to learn who is eligible to receive Disaster Food Stamps, please visit the DSS Web site at www.dss.state.la.us or call 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578).

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