HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The extended window to sign up for the D-SNAP program started Wednesday. The disaster food assistance is being offered to those in financial need after Hurricane Harvey.
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program registration is taking place at Alexander Deussen Park in northeast Harris County 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.
All day Wednesday lines of people and cars stretched as far as the eye could see. Some said they waited up to six hours in heavy traffic and on foot to sign up for D-SNAP.
“It’s been a trial, but whatever we can do to try to find some type of relief," said Nicholas Washington, adding his car was totaled in the floodwaters. "It hit everybody hard.”
Washington says he waited in traffic and in lines on foot for six hours before reaching the registration pavilion.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says she requested the additional registration days from the U.S. Department of Agriculture following the overwhelming turnout the first time D-SNAP was offered.
“This is disaster food supplement," said Jackson Lee. "This is to help people who are dealing with unemployment—who are dealing with trying to repair their businesses.”
The registration process requires disaster victims who don’t normally receive SNAP benefits to bring a valid ID and answer questions about their financial circumstances after Harvey.
The stories of loss due to Harvey were numerous.
“We took five feet of water in our first floor and the kids lost all their stuff, so to get food was really important,” said Michael Bliss, a D-SNAP applicant from Kingwood.
Amongst the people who ditched their cars and walked amongst the thick traffic congestion was Zakharria Ford from Houston. She arrived in line for D-SNAP at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“This is something that did not discriminate in regards to area or class or anything of that sort. It touched everyone,” said Ford.
She showed photos on her phone of flooding in her apartment that reached past the couch cussions and mold that grew up the walls when the flood waters went down.
Like many, nearly two months after the hurricane she’s still struggling to get back on her feet financially and grateful for D-SNAP despite the hours spent and miles trekked to registration.
“It’ll allow me to not use my cash that I do have to buy food, simply because that’s something that I have to contribute to the place that I’m staying,” said Ford.
To find out if you qualify for D-SNAP, access https://hhs.texas.gov/