• Thousands across Shelby County struggling as emergency food stamps delayed

    By: Zach Crenshaw

    Updated:

    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - Parents across Memphis are struggling after their emergency food stamps are not coming through. 

    This is a result of last month’s severe storms, which left thousands without power. 

    Around 5,000 families in Shelby County applied for the emergency SNAP benefits following the storms. 

    However, state officials said it is unclear exactly how many have been approved or denied right now. They are still waiting on official numbers but say the applicants have heard back within 10 days so far.  


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    Some parents are not sure how they’re going to make it through the month.

    One mother told FOX13 over Facebook that her kitchen is empty after the storm last month wiped out her power and refrigerator. 

    She is one of many denied replacement benefits. 

    “It actually happened to my babysitter. So [her family] had to stay at my house,” said Keisha White. 
    White’s babysitter didn’t receive replacement benefits either. 

    “[They told her] she basically didn't qualify,” White said. “It wasn't enough days, and I was just like, “Wow, thank God that my power didn't go out and it wasn't me because I'd be very upset.”  

    According to the Tennessee Department of Human Services, in order for people to be eligible for the replacement benefits the household must meet the following requirements:

    • Be current SNAP recipients
    • Have been without power for 12 hours
    • Or experience another misfortune to have caused loss of food

    Potential recipients also had to file a claim within 10 days.

    One mother said she met all the requirements and still has not received replacement benefits – something many people cannot afford to do. 

    “The rely on [stamps] and for them to fail. The people that you rely on, that really makes you look bad,” said White. 

    The state said it relies on MLGW’s power map and information to determine if someone was without power for 12 hours. 

    That could be part of the reason for denials, if the map is not accurate. 

    If you want to appeal you can click here or call 866-311 4287.    

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