Florida Could Miss Out In Nearly $820 Million In Federal Food Assistance For Kids
Florida could miss out on nearly $820 million dollars in federal food assistance money for more than 2 million hungry children, if the state doesn’t sign up for the summer extension to the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, or P-EBT.
Cindy Huddleston, Senior Policy Analyst for the Florida Policy Institute, says there’s no deadline in place and the state still has time to sign up. "The longer we wait, there's the possibility that the USDA may make a decision administratively that it doesn't make sense to continue to run the program," said Huddleston. "But, because of the delay in getting the program off the ground for a lot of states, and some of the considerations that go into administering the program, we’re very optimistic that it that Florida has still has a little time to get that plan in and to get it approved."
She said that even though many kids are back in school, the retroactive pay from this program can still help out many families in need. "It would go a long way to kind of help families out who had to go into debt, or had to juggle their bills during the summer to be able to provide meals for their children," she said.
Huddleston said if families were to participate in the program, they would receive $6.82 for a child’s meal, for a total of about $375 per kid.
There is currently no indication from the DeSantis administration to sign up for the summer food assistance program.