Severe Weather Northeast

A car floats in a flooded lot at the Hathaway Creative Center alongside the Kennebec River in Waterville on Dec. 19. More than 400,000 Mainers were left without power and some faced hundreds of thousands worth of damage. Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is issuing about $13.5 million in replacement benefits to cover food lost as a result of power outages and other weather impacts during last month’s wind and rainstorm.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid who live in storm-affected areas will automatically receive a replacement benefit totaling 60% of their December allocation on Saturday, the department said in a news release.

About 76,000 households across Maine are expected to receive the replacement funds.

The state received approval from the federal government to access the funds following the Dec. 19 state of civil emergency declared by Gov. Janet Mills in the wake of the storm that brought flooding and widespread electrical outages.

SNAP recipients who reside in the 14 counties covered by the civil emergency declaration, as well as those who live in 34 Cumberland and York county towns that had more than 50% of customers without power for four or more hours, will receive the funds automatically in their EBT accounts.

Recipients will get 60% of their December benefits allotment to account for the portion of food that had not been purchased prior to the storm, may not have been perishable or that was consumed before the storm.


“This replacement assistance will help Maine families recover from the December storm that left hundreds of thousands of residents without refrigerators, freezers and easy access to affordable food,” said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “This is part of our mission to support health and safety as we adapt to an increased number of damaging storms.”

The federal waiver making the funds available is the first emergency waiver Maine has received since the ice storm of 1998, which was similar in its impact on power and people across the state.

Households that have already received requested replacement funds of benefits equal to or greater than 60 percent of their December SNAP allotment will not receive the automatic benefit replacement.

More information is available online through the state’s Maine Flood Resources and Assistance Hub.

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