COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Power outages from this week’s storm are causing an emergency for families who are short on money and food.
The state Division of Family and Children Services is helping out by funding emergency food stamps for families in the program with a critical need.
“I was devastated, I was mad and I was hungry,” says food stamp recipient Coretta Basby.
Basby is a mother of two who lives in Cochran, Georgia. She and her family have suffered a loss that will soon be restored. For nearly a whole day, they sat in the dark without power after tropical storm Irma caused power lines to fall.
Basby says, “On Sunday morning, we got up. I was able to cook breakfast and about 8:15 p.m. the power went out and it didn’t come back on until about maybe 9:45 p.m.-10:45 p.m. that night.”
She had prepared for the storm and bought non-perishable food items as well as cold food but wasn’t expecting to lose power.
“I had things like chicken in my freezer, I had steaks, I had ribs, hotdogs and sausages,” she adds.
Since she receives food stamps, she’s eligible to request replacement benefits from DFCS for food she lost during the power outage.
Susan Boatwright, Communications Director at Division of Family and Children Services, says “The policy around that requires that they complete a form 841. That form is available on our website. They will need the food loss replacement form and they will take that form to the local DFCS office.”
Boatwright says there is no time frame. Once the form is turned in, DFCS staff will begin processing. For now, the department is working to verify directly with power companies instead of having customers reach out to them.
“We realize there’s a lot of devastation right now. There are a lot of folks who are feeling pretty desperate and we want to do everything that we can to alleviate some of that,” Boatwright explains.
“It’s a relief because like I said once again I have a family,” Basby continues.
Recipients who already receive food stamps and are without power for more than 4 hours, are eligible to request replacement benefits. Visit dfcs.georgia.gov to print out the 841 form, or visit your local DFCS office.