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For Immediate Release November 1, 2005
Contact: DCF Press Office Zoraya Suarez 850-448-4855

DCF to Initiate "Food for Florida" Disaster
Food Stamp Program in 12 Counties

-- These counties to also receive supplements in November benefits for current recipients --

TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Children & Families, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will implement the “Food for Florida” Disaster Food Stamp (DFS) program in Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Glades, Hendry, Lee, Collier, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties to assist victims of Hurricane Wilma. (See dates and locations beginning on page 3.)

“We are working around the clock to provide relief to those affected by Wilma’s damage,” said DCF Secretary Lucy D. Hadi. “We will continue to stand side-by-side with those who need us as they get back on their feet."

To qualify for the “Food for Florida” benefits program, applicants must have lived in one of the twelve counties listed above on October 24, 2005, and not be receiving food stamps through the regular program. Additionally, eligible individuals and families must have suffered a disaster related loss, such as damage to their homes or self-employment property, loss of food, reduction of income or have incurred other disaster related expenses. Applicants must also be financially eligible.

Combined income and assets can not exceed program limits. Only income and expenses from October 22 to November 21 are counted. The limit for one person is $1,332 and the limit for a four person family is $2,147. (See attached criteria for more details).

Benefits are based on family size. One person is eligible for $152 in Disaster Food Stamp benefits. A family of four is eligible for $506.

Eligible individuals and families will be mailed Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to use at authorized U.S.D.A. food retailers. “Food for Florida” benefits are good for 90 days from the date of issuance and must be used during that time.

In addition to the “Food for Florida” program, DCF automatically replaced 50 percent of the October benefits for regular food stamp recipients in the hurricane impacted areas. Eligible households in these counties will also receive extra benefits (a supplement) in November to bring their amount to the maximum for their household size. Regular food stamp recipients and those eligible for the “Food for Florida” Program may use their benefits to purchase hot prepared foods through November 30. This rule change will help those who lost their homes and cooking equipment and/or electrical power as a result of the hurricane.

More information on the “Food for Florida” Disaster Food Stamp program is available by calling 1-866-762-2237 or by logging onto http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/ 

Tip Sheet for Applying for Disaster Food Stamp Benefits

“Food for Florida” Site Locations and Hours of Operation

Sites for residents of Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties will open beginning Friday, November 4 through Tuesday, November 8, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Super Walmart Super Center, 9885 Collier Blvd., Naples
  • Clewiston Civic Center, 2000 Seventh Street, Clewiston
  • Gulf Coast Center, 5820 Buckingham Road, Ft. Myers
  • Indian River County Fairground, 7955 58th Avenue, Vero Beach

Friday, November 4, Saturday, November 5, Sunday, November 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Parking Lot on the Corner of First Street and Main Street, Immokolee

Sites will be open for residents of Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, and Martin counties, Thursday, November 3 through Monday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at:

  • Indian River County Fairgrounds, 7955 58th Ave, Vero Beach
  • Okeechobee County Agriculture-Civic Center, 4200 E. Hwy 70, Okeechobee
  • St. Lucie County Fairgrounds, 15601 W. Midway Road, Ft. Pierce
  • Martin County Fairgrounds, 2616 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart

An alternate location in Martin County will also be open on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at:

  • Indiantown One Stop Center, 16491 SW Farm Road, Indiantown

Sites will be open in Monroe County:

Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, November 5 from 8 a.m. to noon at:

  • GATO Historic Building Parking Lot and Lobby, 1100 Simonton Street, Key West

Mobile units will be open as follows beginning Saturday, November 5 and ending Monday, November 7:

Saturday, November 5, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.:

  • Mobile Unit- Big Coppitt Fire Station on US 1 (MM11) Sunday, November 6, from 8 a.m. to noon:
  • Mobile Unit – Sugarloaf Fire Station on US 1 (MM17) Sunday, November 6, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.:
  • Mobile Unit- Big Pine Key, Big Pine United Methodist Church parking lot, 280 Key Deer Blvd.
  • Monday, November 7:
    • Mobile Unit- Marathon Kmart Plaza on US 1 (MM45) from 8 a.m. to noon
    • Mobile Unit – Grassy Key JoJo’s Restaurant Parking Lot (MM59.7) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Miami - Dade:

  • Community of Landmark, 20000 NW 47th Ave, Opa Locka
  • Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St, Miami
  • Coconut Grove Convention Center, 2700 S Bayshore Dr, Coconut Grove
  • Phicol Williams Community Recreation Center, 951 SW 4th St., Homestead – (Note: This site will operate from November 9 – 12. It will not be open on Tuesday due to the election.)
  • Further locations to be confirmed.

Broward:

  • Faith Center Church, 5555 NW 95th Ave., Sunrise
  • Hollywood Millennium Mall, 5800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
  • Further locations to be confirmed.

Palm Beach:

  • Dimick Building, District HQ, 111 S. Sapodilla Ave, West Palm Beach
  • Lake Ida Park, 2929 Lake Ida Road, Delray Beach
  • Glades Pioneer Park, 866 SR 715, Belle Glade
  • John Prince Park, 2520 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth

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Last updated: November 09, 2007