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Long lines for aid in South Florida show the need for 2nd relief bill is dire

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. – Since she broke her leg, Rosemary Vaz used crutches to stand in line for hours on Thursday outside of the Lauderdale Lakes City Hall. She said she has been unemployed for months, so she really needed one of the 2,300 federally-funded $250 food vouchers the city distributed.

Vaz said she appreciates the government’s help. With the unfolding economic crisis, Vaz said she is not alone. Avoiding food insecurity, she said, has also been very difficult for some members of her family and for some of the people that she knows.

“These people, they really do need it,” Vaz said.

Long lines for aid in South Florida show need for 2nd relief bill is dire
Long lines for aid in South Florida show need for 2nd relief bill is dire

Local officials say they need more help. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both said on Thursday that they are moving closer to passing a second relief bill. President Donald Trump said he is ready to sign it. The first relief expires at year’s end.

“About 13 million people could fall off a fiscal cliff and have nothing as of December 31st,“ said Diane Swonk, Grant Thornton’s chief economist, referring to the people around the country who could lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the month. “That is stunning in the U.S. economy.”

The severity of the continued hardships that families in South Florida have already been facing despite the first federal relief package has been evident at all of the Feeding South Florida’s food distribution events.

In Miramar, 2,000 to 3,000 drivers have been lining up every Thursday. This week, organizers had vegetables, legumes, fruits, eggs, and milk. Volunteers said there are a lot of people that are out of work in South Florida.

“When we look closer at the data, we find that the unemployment rate is even higher for women and for Hispanic and Black families,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, adding the need is dire.

SEARCHING FOR JOBS

Virtual forum highlights job opportunities in South Florida

MIAMI -- Aiming to help the unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, the South Florida Anchor Alliance and the Health Foundation of South Florida teamed up with the Urban League of Broward and the Beacon Council of Miami-Dade to host a virtual forum on Thursday.

“We know that without access to good jobs, there is no health,” said Melida Akiti, the vice-chair of the Health Foundation of South Florida.

Akiti added the coronavirus pandemic has worsened economic inequality in South Florida.

“Only by working together will we be able to help those most in need,” Akiti said. “This forum was an opportunity for us to share resources to support those seeking training and job opportunities.”

The forum included Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Broward Mayor Steven Geller, Broward Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness, Rick Beasley, of Career Source of South Florida, and Ron Moffett, of Career Source Broward.

Representatives of Miami-Dade and Broward public schools, Miami Dade College, Broward College, Florida International University, Baptist Hospital, and Broward Health were also in attendance.

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