Lines running smoothly for disaster food benefits in Lakeland

Thousands making their way to Lakeland for disaster food benefits

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Thousands of people are making their way to the RP Funding Center in Lakeland for disaster food benefits. They had to close their doors early Saturday because so many people showed up.

DCF was prepared for the crowds Monday. They brought in extra staff and people moved through relatively quickly.

Some people camped out here overnight to guarantee a spot. DCF tells us that's probably not necessary. Many people told us they had to wait only 30 minutes to go through the entire process.

“That's their choice, but I would recommend them to just come a few hours prior to our opening,” William D’Aiuto, Regional Managing Director for DCF said.

Across town, patience is paying off. Crews contracted by FEMA conducted a rolling roadblock on Cleveland Heights Boulevard. They picked up debris that's been sitting there for more than a month.

“I said, ‘oh, finally. Thank you, God, finally!’” Janie Alvarado said. “The'yre going to clean up the area.”

Whether they're waiting for clean up or waiting in line, they're getting closer to a full recovery.

Officials with DCF recommend that you register online before you get to the RP Funding Center. You'll find out online whether you've been pre-approved or denied. It could save you some time so you don't wait in line only to learn you've been denied.

If you couldn't make it out Monday, DCF will be there Tuesday and Wednesday. However, they said there could be more people those days.

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