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Hot meals benefits extended through the end of 2020

Oregon has received approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Disaster SNAP recipients in the following 23 counties to purchase hot or prepared foods from authorized SNAP retailers until Dec. 31, 2020.

Approved counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill.

Normally, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase “hot food products prepared for immediate consumption.” This restriction is being waived following the severe winds and wildfires that led to the displacement of many residents and left them without access to a kitchen to prepare meals. Examples of allowable Prepared Foods include hot deli foods, fountain drinks, including but not limited to coffee and tea, a slice of hot/prepared pizza, hot soup, salad bars, and sandwiches.

This waiver will last through Dec. 31, 2020, and allows SNAP and DSNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared food at any participating retailer that accepts SNAP EBT cards. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.

For more information about the hot food waiver, visit https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/ASSISTANCE/FOOD-BENEFITS/Pages/DSNAP-Hot-Foods-Waiver.aspx.

Administered by ODHS, SNAP is a federal program that provides food assistance to approximately 1 million eligible, low-income families and individuals in Oregon, including many older adults and people with disabilities. Oregonians in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP, child care, cash assistance, and Medicaid. Learn more at https://govstatus.egov.com/or-dhs-benefits. For local resources in your area, such as food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 or reach out to the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) at 1-855-ORE-ADRC or 1-855-673-2372.

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