Related Topics:

Assistance Programs
Back to top

Can I get disaster food stamps?

To get disaster food stamps, you must live in a county in Iowa that was declared a Presidential disaster area. 

To qualify, a household must have expenses resulting from at least one of the following:

  • Loss of food;
  • Damage to, or destruction of the household's home;
  • Damage to, or destruction of a household member's self-employment business;
  • Seeking temporary shelter;
  • Disaster-related personal injury;
  • Disaster-related expenses not expected to be reimbursed during the disaster period; or
  • Loss or inaccessibility of income.

How to Apply

  • There is a special disaster application for this program. Applications will only be taken for a limited time. Applications will be taken at the FEMA disaster site offices as they are set up, or residents may contact their local DHS offices to apply. Some people who would not qualify for Food Assistance under the regular rules may qualify for Disaster Food Assistance. DHS encourages all households affected by the disaster to apply. To find the nearest DHS office call 2-1-1 or go to: DHS Offices Map
  • If you currently receive Food Assistance you may get benefits in addition to what you have already received.

What is the difference between "expedited" food stamps and "emergency" food stamps?

  • Usually, "expedited" food stamps are regular food stamps that very needy people receive a week after applying.
  • Disaster or "emergency" food stamps are short-term disaster benefits offered in select areas to people not eligible under normal rules. These food stamps go to people who need food assistance because they have lost income and other financial resources because of the disaster.
  • Not everyone with disaster-related food losses can get disaster food stamps.
  • To get disaster food stamps, you must meet federal eligibility requirements.
  • Emergency food stamp benefits can also give extra help to people who get regular food stamps.

How do I know if I qualify for expedited food stamps?

To get expedited food stamps, your income and resources must be low enough to meet normal food stamp requirements. For information about food stamp eligibility, go to the Iowa Legal Aid website and click on "Legal Information and Other Resources for Iowans". Then, go to the section called "Food Assistance". You can also call our toll-free number: 1-800-272-0008.

You must also show one of the following:

  • Your household has no more than $150 in monthly income before taxes and no more than $100 in cash or in bank accounts; OR 
  • Your basic shelter and utility expenses are greater than your present income and resources combined; OR
  • Migrant or seasonal farmworker households with assets of $100 or less whose income is starting or stopping.
Back to top

Health & Human Services (HHS) - Emergency Food Assistance Program

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides food and meals at no cost through participating food pantries and meal sites. The types of foods available varies based on availability.

Find Food Resources

Back to top