NEW YORK, February 6, 2009 - J.P. Morgan has helped the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) deliver early food stamp benefits to Kentuckians recovering from the state's recent devastating ice storm. CHFS' Department for Community Based Services usually issues electronic monthly food benefits on a staggered schedule during the first ten days of each month. Due to the storm, nearly 252,000 food stamp recipients who typically receive funds between the third and tenth of the month were given early access to benefits on February 2nd. These benefits are delivered via J.P. Morgan-issued Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards.
The Kentucky ice storm is believed to be the worst natural disaster in modern Kentucky history. Beginning on Jan. 27, 2009 and continuing for several days, ice, snow and rain pummeled the state. Fallen trees, debris and power outages paralyzed parts of the state and left hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians without electricity, water and heat. As a result, food spoilage occurred.
"Releasing food stamp benefit payments ahead of schedule is one way we have assisted customers who have lost food items because of this devastating storm," DCBS Commissioner Pat Wilson said. "We want to be sure every food stamp recipient who needs groceries has the means to purchase them."
Within an hour after receiving a formal request from Kentucky, J.P. Morgan implemented a process to authorize nearly $58 million in food stamp benefits ahead of schedule.
"J.P. Morgan has a long history of assisting states with disaster response and recovery efforts," said Laurie Neill, manager director, Public Sector Solutions, J.P. Morgan. "We are proud to partner with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to make benefits available as soon as possible during this terrible event."
In the past, J.P. Morgan has assisted California, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington in providing emergency food stamp assistance to victims of natural catastrophes. Program benefits totaling nearly $250 million were distributed to more than 710,000 households via J.P. Morgan's EBT cards.
J.P. Morgan is the leading provider of EBT and debit card solutions with more than 70 million benefit and payment transactions each month, across the U.S. and internationally. EBT has eliminated the inefficient paper food stamp process while government payment cards eliminate the costly process of producing and mailing checks and check fraud. Federal, state, county and municipal agencies can deliver recurring or one-time payments to citizens for disaster relief, child support, unemployment and workers' compensation, payroll, gun buybacks and many other programs and purposes. Recipients can make purchases at millions of merchants and access their funds at ATMs worldwide. More information can be found at www.jpmorgan.com/publicsector.
About J.P. Morgan Treasury Services
The Treasury Services business of J.P. Morgan is a top-ranked, full-service provider of innovative payment, collection, liquidity and investment management, trade finance, commercial card and information solutions to corporations, financial services institutions, middle market companies, small businesses, governments and municipalities worldwide. With more than 50,000 clients and a presence in 39 countries, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services (JPM TS) is one of the world's largest provider of treasury management services. JPM TS is a division of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., member FDIC. More information can be found at www.jpmorgan.com/ts.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.2 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan, Chase, and WaMu brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.