USDA is allowing participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 14 California counties affected by recent wildfires to buy hot foods with their SNAP benefits through Dec. 17. “Thousands of California residents are trying to piece their lives back together even as these wildfires continue blazing,” said Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps. “This waiver will allow residents more flexibility to use in feeding their families as they get back on their feet.” Under this temporary policy, hot food purchases are allowed in the following California counties: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Plumas, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sutter, Tehama, Ventura, and Yuba. Under normal circumstances participants are not allowed to use their benefits to buy foods that are sold hot at authorized SNAP retailers. The waiver addresses the needs of SNAP households affected by the disaster that are unable to prepare food at home.

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