NEW ORLEANS – Thousands of people began lining up before dawn outside sites around the metro area giving out disaster food stamps.
As the lines grew, the sun came up and temperatures began to climb, those waiting for the food stamps grew frustrated, as some waited for hours to get the assistance.
“It’s really disheartening,” said Margaret Babido, of Terrytown, who was waiting outside of the Alario Center. “A lot of this could be avoided eliminated. There are probably people standing in line in the wrong line, first off, and if they’re in the correct line and their income don’t meet the criteria, they’re going to be denied, just like we were.”
After a three-hour wait, some left like Bibido in frustration.
Since only certain last names could apply Wednesday, A – C, a great deal of applicants were confused by the process. Applicants must come in in-person to see if they qualify, even if they pre-register to the program, and they should bring identification to the site.
At 3 a.m., vehicles began to line up outside of sites like the Alario Center in Westwego before doors opened at 8 a.m.
Tinisha Robinson, of LaPlace, said he was waiting outside if the site for the assistance because he needed helping “starting over” after Issac.
All were looking for help from Louisiana’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to buy groceries after Hurricane Isaac. The program provides food stamps for those who don’t normally receive them.
“It’s going to take a lot of help,” said Quinn Wicken, of Marrero, “because right now my husband is not working because he is disabled. It is going to take a lot of help from the community.”
The size of crowds at DSNAP sites caused traffic problems at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Those residents not applying for the program are advised to avoid Haynes Boulevard, Leon C. Simon and Franklin Avenue. Earlier reports had traffic backed up from the Seabrook Bridge to Crowder Boulevard.
On the West Bank, traffic also backed up near the Alario Center because of the crowds waiting for the program, and Segnette Boulevard is closed to traffic from Lapalco Boulevard to the Westbank Expressway. Earlier reports had traffic backed on Highway 90 to Avondale.