Some wildfire evacuees have been told to use their food vouchers all in one shop at local grocery stores.

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) says this is true, but only in specific situations for specific evacuee needs.

In a statement, the agency says people who register with Emergency Social Services (ESS) are given referrals based on their own individual needs.

Food vouchers are each given a date to which evacuees are expected to use by; evacuees themselves are asked when they initially sign up to specify proper information.

If the voucher expires and has not been spent, they can go back in for a reassessment and may be deemed eligible for another referral.

In turn, local grocery vendors will not give gift cards for the amount of unspent referral money.

EMBC believes it doesn’t make sense for families living in hotels or small trailers to store days’ worth of food and supplies, which is why they’re typically issued vouchers to buy food in smaller increments over ‘shorter periods of time.’

In partnership with local governments, they further explain these forms usually last three to four days, adding the policy ensures accountability of public funds.

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