Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)

On November 28, 2012, the New York City Human Resources Administration ("HRA") was approved to operate and administer the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) program, the emergency food stamp program for eligible individuals residing in 12 designated zip codes affected by Hurricane Sandy. HRA, which required applications to be filed in person between December 12 and December 18, designated only one location – in Fort Greene, Brooklyn - at which applications could be accepted for the seven day period. A second Staten Island site accepted applications only part time for four days. The Brooklyn location presented transportation access obstacles for Far Rockaway residents and the City's plan failed to make reasonable accommodations to specifically address the needs of individuals with disabilities.

With only two days notice, law firm volunteers made more than 2,000 calls over a 24 hour period to inform the Society’s clients that they needed to immediately file for D-SNAP before the City ended the application period. The Legal Aid Society also challenged the legality of the limited access to apply for these benefits with a pro bono partner.