North Carolina households that currently get Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) will receive their September 2019 benefits early so that they can purchase necessary food immediately following Hurricane Dorian.

The State of North Carolina is making more than $88 million available to about 380,000 households in order to enable them to purchase food immediately to replace the food that was lost as a result of the hurricane.

This change applies to all FNS recipients in the state – not just those that were affected by the hurricane.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services received a waiver from the US Department of Agriculture to issue the remainder of September’s FNS benefits for all recipients by Sept. 7. Some of those benefits would not normally be available until later in the month.

FNS – which was once called “food stamps” – is a federal food assistance program meant to provide “low-income families with funds to purchase food needed for a nutritional, adequate diet.”

Once September’s FNS funds are distributed, they’ll be available for use. However, the DHHS stated that program participants should be aware that – since there will be no additional FNS benefits issued in the month of September, they should plan appropriately.

According to a statement the department sent out on Friday, Sept. 6, “DHHS has also authorized the remote/automatic issuance of WIC food benefits for participants residing in counties impacted by Hurricane Dorian.”

WIC Participants can confirm this issuance by calling the eWIC customer service at 844-230-0813 or by accessing their account on