SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Food for Florida program will continue to provide assistance to residents who suffered losses after Hurricane Irma, but after an overwhelming turnout last month, this week they are implementing a major change.
Tuesday through Thursday, government officials are hoping to avoid the giant lines that formed last month. “We’re doing one mega site [per county], as opposed to the four sites before,” said Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson Bronwyn Stanford. “We’re trying to hit all areas in the county.”
Miami-Dade residents taking part of Florida’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) may head to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and Broward residents can go to the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
Thousands of people began to line up outside the Hard Rock Stadium overnight, eager to get a good spot. “I woke up around 2:30 and got here around 3:15,” said one man.
Back in October, D-SNAP card distribution caused long lines in Miami-Dade and Broward. Residents waited in line for hours at venues like Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah and CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines.
This time around people are just as willing to wait in line to get some much-needed food assistance. “A lot of loss of power, a lot of food got spoiled in the fridge, you know what I mean?” said a man, who had been in line since 3 a.m. “There’s a lot of necessity, and I think the line and the amount of people that are here actually shows it.”
Officials are hoping the two larger venues will help bring the wait times down.
Residents will be required to present state ID or a driver’s license. Recipients will receive pre-loaded access cards.
This time, officials are organizing the distributions by last name, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
– Tuesday: A-F
– Wednesday: G-P
– Thursday: Q-Z
Officials are reminding people heading out to both locations to be mindful of traffic.
At the BB&T Center, only vehicular traffic will be allowed on site – meaning the only pedestrians allowed in, will be those getting off the bus in front of the center.
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