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Thousands Of Floridians Need Food Assistance After Irma

Image: Department of Children and Families

Thousands of Floridians have sought help putting food on the table after Hurricane Irma. The Department of Children and Families opened centers around the state for people to sign up for emergency food benefits.

In Brevard County, thousands of people came to the food assistance site at the Cocoa Expo Sports Center, which opened last Saturday.

DCF spokeswoman Kristi Gray said by Wednesday, 22,000 people had signed up.

“Folks who had been affected by Hurricane Irma, financially,” said Gray.

“People who had lost power for weeks and as a result lost large amounts of food, had to spend money that otherwise would have been used for bills, on storm related supplies and expenses.”

The Cocoa Expo Sports Center site closed on Wednesday night, as did a site in Kissimmee.

Disaster food assistance centers will open in Marion County this Saturday, and in Orange and Seminole Counties on October 21st.

“We are encouraging those folks who are living in counties where Food For Florida sites have yet to open, just to be patient with us,” said Gray.

“The assistance is coming to you, and we ask them to hang on and be patient and allow us this opportunity to serve them in their community.”

People applying for the benefits must show proof they lived or worked in one of the 48 disaster declaration counties on September 5th and they can’t already be receiving Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Gray said people should register online before they come to a site.

Click here for a full list of Food For Florida sites.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »