South Florida lawmaker demands answers for people in need after Hurricane Irma

Many people turned away from signing up for D-SNAP benefits

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - People are desperate for help after Hurricane Irma, but many are not getting that help despite lining up for hours at parks across South Florida in hopes of signing up for D-SNAP benefits. Now, a local lawmaker is joining the demand for answers.

"I just came to see if I could get some food stamps," one woman told Local 10 News on Monday. 

How many remain qualified to receive money from the program cut short over the weekend is yet another calculation the Department of Children and Families can't yet know.

"I knew nothing about it," State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-South Broward, said.  

Jones and most South Florida lawmakers were blindsided by news from constituents of the ordeal they endured this weekend.

Jones reached out to the governor and House speaker on Twitter to urge a fix to the process to distribute post-storm financial assistance grocery money, without the chaos and heat-related medical issues that were experienced in the last few days.
 
"Where did the breakdown in communication happen? Why didn't you reach out to local authorities to make sure the capacity was there to take on this task?" Jones said. 

Another issue is that some of those who were able to get what are supposed to be critical benefits are selling their cards on Craigslist.

The state is able to trace the cards based on the individualized numbers on the back of each card.

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