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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2004
CONTACT: Tim Bottcher (850) 488-4855

Disaster Food Stamp Program Continues for Hurricane Victims

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children & Families will conduct Disaster Food Stamp (DFS) operations this week in 14 Florida counties affected by the recent storms.

Beginning Tuesday and continuing through Saturday, eligible hurricane victims in the following counties may apply for DFS benefits: Brevard, Palm Beach, Citrus, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Indian River, Martin, Flagler, Volusia, Escambia, Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and Holmes counties.

To date, the Department has provided 220,174 Floridians with $25,936,418 in hurricane relief disaster food stamp benefits to hurricane victims in Hardee, DeSoto, Polk, Highlands, Charlotte, Lee, Orange and Osceola counties. An additional 30,000 applications have been taken and are being processed.

“We are working seven-days-a-week to provide this critical relief to eligible Floridians,” DCF Interim Secretary Hadi said. “We won’t stop until the job is done.”

To qualify for Disaster Food Stamps, applicants must have experienced damage to their home or self-employment property or must have had a loss of income as a result of the storms. Applicants must also be income eligible as defined by having net income less than the Disaster Food Stamp Program limit.

Benefits are based on family size. One person is eligible for $141 in relief. A family of four is eligible for $471 in benefits.

Persons who currently receive benefits in the regular Food Stamp Program are not eligible for Disaster Food Stamp benefits.

DCF is currently gathering the USDA-required data in order to request DFS benefits for Hurricane Jeanne-affected counties.

For more information on the Disaster Food Stamp Program, including specific dates, times and locations in your area, please call your local DCF office or 1-800-342-9274.

In other hurricane-related relief developments, Department officials last week engineered an early release of more than $121 million in regular monthly food stamp and temporary cash assistance benefits to more than 1.3 million Floridians. This is the second consecutive month DCF has performed an early release of benefits.

Additionally, during August and September, DCF has re-issued hundreds of millions of dollars in food stamp benefits so hurricane victims could replace food lost during storm-related power losses.

Those Floridians had already received and spent most or all of their monthly assistance benefits when the storms hit and destroyed their food supplies.

These storm victims received a second monthly allotment on their EBT cards allowing them to buy additional food for the months of August and September.

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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