The Food for Florida Program, which was started to assist families struggling to recover after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September, may have ended but some families say they weren't able to receive the benefits.
Yvette Dixon contacted us after going to apply for the Food for Florida program in Dade City on Wednesday -- the last day it would be available -- but was turned away.
Dixon lives in Hillsborough County and says this was her only chance to go.
The Department of Children and Families made it clear that since it was a Pasco event, they would get priority. Other Food for Florida events were held in counties all around the bay prior.
“When I got there about 4:30 PM was turn away by an officer stating that they cut off all other counties a couple hours ago and was only doing Pasco county. I was livid after driving all the way there and had to turn right back. I don’t think that was fair as some of us do work and I missed all the other deadlines when they were in Hillsborough,” says Dixon.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, aimed to extend Irma Food aid saying, “Families are entitled to it.”
He tweeted his after many contacting him, complaining about long lines.
Too many people aren’t getting the help they need after Irma & Maria. I’m calling on FEMA to step up its efforts to provide help sooner. pic.twitter.com/qpRBYbVBih— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) October 24, 2017
“More reports of long lines for emergency food assistance. Unacceptable. I've asked USDA for assistance. FL should have been better prepared.”
DCF said in a press release the program has helped millions of families:
As of October 26, DCF has processed more than 937,000 DSNAP applications for this federal program. This will help more than 7.2 million Floridians through SNAP and DSNAP as they continue to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Irma.
DCF also said it worked aggressively to ensure all operations at sites were expeditious, safe, and efficient as possible.
10 news reporter Shannon Valladolid is making some calls to see what other options families have, if they weren't able to receive benefits from the program.
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10 News app now.