Massive lines form for Irma food program recipients in South Florida

Many wait in heat to get D-snap benefits

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Massive lines across South Florida greeted applicants of the disaster food assistance program following Hurricane Irma.

Thousands of people were seen in line at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.

In Miami-Dade County, Shirley Berry was standing out in the mid-day South Florida heat just weeks after getting major surgery, waiting in line to sign up for D-snap benefits.

"My lights went off the very same day (of the storm). It started the same day," Berry said. "I didn't have lights until that Thursday or that Friday, so you can imagine how that was. And it was hot, but hey, we lost food and stuff but we made it."

D-snap benefits are available to anyone who does not qualify for regular food stamps, but suffered a disaster-related loss because of the storm.

"They lost food, they were out of work, businesses were closed, they lost wages, they had damage to their home -- that kind of thing." Bronwyn Stanford, with the Department of Children and Families, said.

Many of the people Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol spoke with were on a fixed income and have been stretched thin since the storm hit.

"I'm grateful for anything that we can receive, and plus I'm grateful for being alive," Alvin Hering said. "It could be worse. It always could be worse."

The Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program was implemented by the Department of Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Those receiving cards Wednesday to use at authorized USDA food retailers had already applied for the program and live or work in one of the Florida counties declared for individual assistance by FEMA after Irma.

To be eligible, families or individuals must have suffered a disaster-related loss, such as damage to their homes or self-employment property, loss of food, reduction or loss of income, or have incurred other disaster-related expenses.

Cards will be handed out to those who already applied at the following locations between Oct. 11 and Oct. 15:

C.B. Smith Park
900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines

Central Broward Regional Park
3801 W. Sunrise Blvd., Lauderhill

Quiet Waters Park
401 S. Powerline Road, Deerfield Beach

Tropical Park
7900 SW 40 Street, Miami

Miami-Dade College North Campus
11380 NW 27th Avenue, Miami

South Dade Government Center
10710 SW 211 Street, Miami

Amelia Earhart Park
451 E 56 Street, Hialeah

Those looking to apply for the Food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program can CLICK HERE.

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