MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hurricane Irma has come and gone.
While most of us have cleaned up the damage left behind and went back to school or work, for some the hurt continues.
This week the state’s Department of Children and Families is teaming up with U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide relief to individuals and families still struggling after the storm.
Wednesday morning thousands of people lined up at various locations around South Florida to sign up for the Food for Florida Disaster Assistance Program.
More than 45 counties across the state including Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe are eligible for the program. Monroe county has already had their sign up period. The sign up period in Broward and Miami-Dade runs through Sunday, October 15th.
More than half a million Miami-Dade and Broward residents are expected to line up for assistance. The assistance sites are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“I stood in line for about three hours, but once you did the paperwork and went to the back to process it, it went very smooth and easy,” said Angela Grimsley.
Those seeking aid must not already be getting food assistance from the state. Also, they 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.
“We are taking a lot of factors into consideration, meaning how much money was spent fleeing the hurricane, the food that was lost in the home, how many days power was lost in the home. Those are the things that are factored in, in order to apply and be eligible,” said DCF spokeswoman Silvia Beebe.
Once approved, applicants receive DCF provided Electronic Benefits Transfer cards which can be used to buy food and groceries.
Getting assistance would be a big help for Olivia Aviles of Coral Springs.
“We basically lost power, lost the food in our fridge, and then, you know, we’re just here now trying to recoup some of it. We lost like a week of work, so we are now trying to recoup some of it,” she said.
Individuals are encouraged to fill out the initial application for assistance online before visiting the Food for Florida site. The application is available on the Food for Florida website.
The Food for Florida disaster food assistance program for Broward County will take place:
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
The Food for Florida disaster food assistance program for Miami-Dade County will take place:
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