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Sen. Cardin Tours Storm Damage, Spreads Word on Assistance

PHOTO: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is touring areas affected by Hurricane Sandy today.
PHOTO: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is touring areas affected by Hurricane Sandy today.
January 10, 2013

CRISFIELD, Md. - U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., is touring areas hit by Hurricane Sandy today, checking up on how recovery is progressing.

Somerset County was hit hard by the storm, with Crisfield suffering the most home damage. Cardin says it's an economically-disadvantaged area, where almost 600 homes were affected. He wants to get the word out that federal assistance is available, including Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or D-SNAP.

"That could really help them so that they could have adequate nutrition. Considering how stressed they are, it's one of the first things in their budget that could be sacrificed."

Maryland Hunger Solutions director Cathy Demeroto says D-SNAP income eligibility is different than for the food stamp program, and helps people who would not normally be eligible but suddenly need food assistance.

"The benefit is really to help make things easier going forward so that budgeting for food doesn't come at the expense of making those repairs to your home."

Demeroto says the program is one of the most efficient ways to deliver nutrition assistance when people have been affected by a disaster.

Food Resource Day is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food from the Maryland Food Bank is also available for any families or individuals in need, regardless of storm damage, along with details on how to apply for energy assistance.

The window for Somerset County residents to apply for D-SNAP is from now through Sunday, and applications are accepted at the Disaster Recovery Center in Crisfield or at the Somerset DSS office in Princess Anne. Details on how to apply for D-SNAP are available at Friday's "Sandy Food Resource Day" at the Disaster Recovery Center at the Lower Somerset County Ambulance and Rescue Squad, 2 Mill Lane, Crisfield.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD