MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Department of Children and Families announced Thursday the extension of two federal programs to help poverty-stricken families during the coronavirus pandemic.
DCF reported receiving nearly one million applications for public assistance. According to DeSantis, nearly 3 million people in Florida benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides a monthly supplement to buy food with the help of a debit card.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds SNAP and the Department of Health and Human Services funds the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which provides cash assistance for families’ living expenses.
“I’m confident that these policy initiatives are in our state’s best interest – they will help us safely and gradually re-establish normalcy,” DeSantis said in a statement.
DeSantis announced both programs will be extended for the month of May.
To deal with the increasing demand for public assistance, DeSantis and DCF Secretary Chad Poppell invested more resources on the state’s Economic Self-Sufficiency program, which handles the applicants’ eligibility. As of Thursday, officials reported ESS had processed nearly 70 percent of the applications received.