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Cumberland residents seek help replacing food after power outage

September 20, 2018

The homes of some Cumberland County residents never came close to being flooded, but they still were hit hard by Hurricane Florence.

Power outages that stretched for days spoiled food, and low-income families who couldn’t afford to replace the food were especially hard hit.

“I lost $680 worth of groceries because I went grocery shopping,” Spring Lake resident Armita Wilson said. “When the power went out, we lost it all.”

Hundreds of people who receive Food and Nutrition Services from the county Department of Social Services lined up Thursday hoping to get help refilling their refrigerators.

Aleta Washington, who lives in the Mount Sinai Apartments in Fayetteville, said she had to throw out more than $400 in food from her refrigerator and freezer because she had no power for four days.

“I just got my stuff before the hurricane, and I lost everything,” Washington said. “It’s devastating being without power for four days. That’s a lot. That’s really a lot when you’ve got little babies and kids running around and they don’t know what’s going on.”

DSS is taking applications for replacement benefits only from people who currently receive Food and Nutrition Services. The office will be open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and will return to normal hours, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday.

The lines for assistance weren’t as long Thursday as they were after Hurricane Matthew two years ago, but replacement benefits weren’t offered after that storm for several weeks.

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