Thousands of Texas families lost all the food in their fridges after lengthy power outages and while enduring record low temperatures. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received federal approval to allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps) recipients to apply for replacement benefits for food lost or destroyed due to the severe winter weather.

SNAP (food stamp) recipients can request their replacement food benefits by dialing 2-1-1 and selecting option 2. Alternately, recipients can download Form H1855 (Affidavit for Nonreceipt or Destroyed Food Stamp Benefits) here. To limit exposure to COVID-19, recipients are encouraged to mail or fax the completed form to HHSC instead of visiting their local offices. Completed forms should be mailed to Texas Health and Human Services Commission, PO Box 149027, Austin, TX, 78714-9027, or faxed to 1-877-447-2839. For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov.

Texans in need can apply for benefits, including SNAP and Medicaid, at YourTexasBenefits.com or use the Your Texas Benefits mobile app to manage their benefits. To find local resources in your area, like food or shelter, please call 2-1-1 and select option 1.

There are currently 66 counties that have received approval for automatic replacement benefits. If you live in one of these counties, you do not need to take any action and do not need to call 2-1-1 to receive their replacement benefits. You will see a percentage of your February benefit in allotment in your Lone Star card by March 4.

The following counties are eligible to receive automatic partial replacements: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Blanco, Borden, Brazoria, Brewster, Burnet, Calhoun, Chambers, Coke, Colorado, Comanche, Cooke, Delta, Duval, Eastland, Edwards, Falls, Frio, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Haskell, Irion, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kerr, Kinney, Knox, La Salle, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Matagorda, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Mitchell, Montgomery, Oldham, Parker, Reagan, Refugio, San Patricio, San Saba, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Throckmorton, Trinity, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Waller, Williamson, Young, Zapata, and Zavala.

Texans living outside of the 66 eligible counties can still report SNAP food loss and request replacement benefits by March 31.

If you need legal help, you can apply for free assistance by calling 1-800-733-8394 or by visiting http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: media@lonestarlegal.org