Florida announces more locations, dates for Hurricane victims to receive federal benefits
More than a month after Hurricane Idalia peaked as a Category 4 and made landfall at Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, wreaking havoc with strong winds and flooding across more than a dozen counties, many victims of the storm are still dealing with material and economic insecurity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved 11 Florida counties to qualify for its Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) food assistance program on Sept. 20. D-SNAP provides victims of disasters with federally-funded food aid in the form of what is commonly referred to as “food stamps.”
Residents of Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor counties will be able to either apply or be approved for D-SNAP benefits from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Thursday, Oct. 5 through Saturday, Oct. 7, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced Tuesday.
A location was open in Citrus County from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.
To qualify for D-SNAP benefits, applicants cannot already be recipients of SNAP; must either live or work within the county they are applying in; have suffered a loss from Hurricane Idalia such as property damage, food insecurity, or reduction of income and meet financial eligibility requirements. Applicants must report their household income from Aug. 27 through Sept. 26th; as well as all the household assets, including cash and money in the bank, they had on Aug. 28.
The Florida DCF said in a press release they encourage applicants to pre-register online. Those interested in SNAP benefits must complete an interview over the phone or on-site. The USDA initially approved eleven counties for the program; the Florida DCF has not announced any more locations as of Tuesday afternoon.
All three county locations will take applicants from
The Jefferson County’s center will be at the Elizabeth Baptist Church (4124 Bassett Dairy Road in Monticello, Florida).
The Taylor County location is the Taylor County Extension Office (located at 203 Forest Park Drive in Perry, FL).
The Madison County center will be at 1749 SE Dale Leslie Drive (across from the Annett Bus Lines building).
On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced more than $6.4 million in funding for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which provides short-term, no-interest loans to victims of Idalia. Applications for the program are open through Oct. 25.