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Orange County residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can get federal food assistance

Flooding after Hurricane Ian in the Spring Oaks neighborhood in Altamonte Springs. (photo: Amy Green/WMFE)
Amy Green, WMFE
Flooding after Hurricane Ian in the Spring Oaks neighborhood in Altamonte Springs. (photo: Amy Green/WMFE)

Orange County residents who were impacted by Hurricane Ian but do not receive food stamps, can apply for federal food assistance this week.

Eligible county residents can apply for D-SNAP benefits through Wednesday.

Those benefits are loaded onto an EBT card and can be used to buy groceries along with milk at most stores.

Heart of Florida United Way Director Ray Larsen says this program is just one way to help families after a really tough year.

“And I want to acknowledge that, you know, for many of us, we're starting to get past the storm. And it's, the storm is one of those memories that we have. But there's still a lot of people in our community that you know, have been and are still being negatively impacted by by the storm.”

Larsen says his organization received thousands of calls for help after Hurricane Ian. And this is a step in the right direction.

Although he expects people will need to combine this assistance with other forms of aid.

“This is a way to deal with, you know, a shortage of food, and then there's other FEMA services and hopefully people have insurance that you're working through all those things. But, you know, our experience is that every bit of assistance that these households can get, contribute to starting to make them whole again."

Applicants should register online for the program first, then continue the process through the program’s call center or by visiting a registration event in person.

Click here to pre-register for D-SNAP.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.
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