What to know about Florida’s food stamps program during the pandemic

What to know about Florida’s food stamps program during the pandemic

The number of people in Florida needing food assistance is expected to grow amid the coronavirus crisis. [Florida Department of Children and Families] The number of people needing assistance to get food is growing in Florida as unemployment climbs amid the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In Florida, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as SNAP and once known as food stamps, is administered through the state’s Department of Children and Families. In recent weeks, the state has worked to waive some of the program’s requirements and to temporarily increase recipients’ maximum benefits. Working to handle a deluge of people, the department has expanded customer call center hours and added a second number to call. Here’s what you need to know: How does SNAP work? Floridians making a gross income of less than or equal to 200 percent above the federal poverty line could potentially be eligible for SNAP. For a single person, that would equate to a gross income of $2,082 or less a month. The state’s website lays out full criteria and reasons why a person may be ineligible. SNAP recipients get an electronic benefits card, similar to a debit card, that can be used to buy food grocery items. It cannot be used for things like alcohol, cigarettes or hot foods. In Florida, different recipients get their benefits on different days. Florida is not among the handful of states that allow online ordering and grocery delivery as part of SNAP. How have benefits changed since the pandemic? Florida has been granted a waiver from the federal government to allow all SNAP recipients to get the maximum allotment based on their household size. Those already receiving the maximum allotment would not see an increase. For a family of four, the maximum monthly […]

Original Post www.tampabay.com

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