By
FPI Staff
|
February 8, 2019

Cindy Huddleston, Safety Net Program Expert, Joins FPI Staff

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

ORLANDO, FL – Cindy Huddleston, an attorney and expert on economic opportunity programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is the latest addition to the Florida Policy Institute’s (FPI’s) growing staff roster.

“We are thrilled to have Cindy on board,” said Holly Bullard, chief strategy and operations officer at FPI. “The goal of the safety net is to help low-income families stay financially afloat but unfortunately, they are not serving their intended purpose. Cindy has an extensive background advocating for Florida families and she will help bring awareness to the importance of programs like SNAP food benefits and TANF cash assistance in buoying our most vulnerable residents.”

“I am excited to be a part of the Florida Policy Institute and eager to be a state-wide resource on SNAP and TANF,” said Huddleston.

Florida’s TANF program is the state’s core safety net program for low-income families, providing them with a temporary means to meet basic needs, like paying for rent and child care. However, out of every 100 families with income below the federal poverty level, only 13 receive cash assistance from TANF.

And although SNAP is an important thread in Florida’s safety net, helping roughly one out of seven residents put food on the table, SNAP and TANF combined still put families below 30 percent of the federal poverty level.

Cindy is an attorney with over 35 years of experience advocating to strengthen public assistance programs for low-income Floridians. Before joining FPI, she worked at Florida Legal Services and Legal Services of Greater Miami, where she represented indigent clients to maximize access to programs that provide work supports, such as SNAP, Reemployment Assistance (RA) and TANF.

Cindy has extensive experience as an advocate and lobbyist for policies that promote financial security for all Floridians. She received her B.A. from the University of Tennessee and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing state policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.

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