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CONTACT: Bill Spann (850) 488-4855

Disaster Food Stamp Program Approved for Hurricane Jeanne

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children & Families, in partnership with the USDA, has received approval to conduct additional Disaster Food Stamp (DFS) operations in Florida counties affected by Hurricane Jeanne.

Residents who suffered Jeanne-related losses in Brevard, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties may apply for benefits at local DFS sites from today through Saturday. These sites are already active and accepting applications for those affected by Hurricane Frances.

Beginning Tuesday October 12, 2004 and continuing through Saturday October 16, 2004, eligible Jeanne victims in Polk, Highlands, Glades, Hendry and Seminole may apply for DFS benefits.

“We appreciate the USDA’s quick response to our request,” DCF Interim Secretary Hadi said. “These benefits bring much-needed relief to Floridians who, in turn, put the funds directly back into their local economies.”

As of October 4, DCF has provided 227,248 Floridians with $34,943,126 in hurricane relief disaster food stamp benefits to victims throughout the state. An additional 30,000 applications have been taken and are being processed.

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. The following table applies:

Household Size Allotment Disaster Food Stamp Gross Income Limit Maximum
1 1,261 141
2 1,522 259
3 1,784 371
4 2,046 471
5 2,322 560
6 2,606 672
7 2,868 743
8 3,129 849
Each Additional Member +262 +106

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

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. Callers may also get a wealth of information on public assistance -- including the address and phone number of their local DCF office -- at www.dcf.state.fl.us/ess.

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 for a total amount in excess of $218 million.

Additionally, during August and September, DCF has re-issued or supplemented more than $63 million 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.


Last updated: July 08, 2005

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