Puerto Rico, home to more than 60 million Puerto Ricans, is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
In a country where many Americans are unable to visit because of Hurricane Maria, the devastation has left the island without basic services and a significant portion of its economy shut down.
In fact, food stamps are so scarce in Puerto Rico that a recent report by the Associated Press found that nearly one in three Puerto Ricos depend on food stamps for their daily living expenses.
And as food prices skyrocket and residents seek help, so do the requests for aid from the federal government.
In the coming weeks, Congress will have to consider ways to help Puerto Rico recover and restore access to basic services.
What you need to know about food stamps: There are more than 3.6 million people on food assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nearly one-third of them are children.
Some are dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which gives them cash assistance to buy food.
Other families rely on cash to buy basic necessities like diapers, bottled water, and medicine for their children.
How does food stamp help Puerto Ricians?
Food stamps are a way for many people to supplement their income and reduce their spending, especially if they are struggling financially.
People on food stamp can earn up to $100 a week and can get help paying bills, buying groceries, or buying things like household goods.
If you are a working-age person, you can qualify for food stamps if you make $10,000 or less a year.
Those on food aid can receive a maximum of $5,000 per year, according the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
But if you are under age 65, or if you qualify for Medicaid, you cannot receive any assistance.
This means that many people rely on food pantries to supplement the basic needs of their families.
They often are forced to rely on government programs, like Supplemental Nutrition, for help.
What are the main ways Puerto Rico has been affected by Hurricane Maria?
Puerto Rico was the site of a major storm when Maria struck, and the island was devastated by flooding and damage to infrastructure.
The storm’s destructive force was felt for days, and many residents of the Caribbean island were left without power, communications, and other basic services in the wake of the storm.
The United States is providing food assistance to Puerto Rico at an unprecedented pace.
The U.N. has been coordinating the relief effort since September, with the goal of providing food and other humanitarian aid to as many people as possible in the region.
How can I apply for food assistance?
For more information, go to foodstamp.gov.
The food stamp program provides a range of aid that provides people in need of assistance with money to buy basics like diapers and bottled water.
The main way people can receive assistance is through the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) that is administered by the Department, and you can apply online or in person at the following locations: U.