September 29, 2021

Florida finally wins approval for summer food stamp program helping children in poverty

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

Kate Santich writes:

"It’s official: After weeks of pleas from education and anti-hunger advocates and finger-pointing by politicians, Florida has become one of the last states in the nation to win federal approval for a one-time pandemic food stamp boost of more than $1 billion for children in poverty.


The state submitted the application late last week. The nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], which led a statewide effort to persuade the Florida Department of Children and Families and Gov. Ron DeSantis to apply for the funds after months of inaction, called the decision a victory for children and 'an important lesson in civics.'

'Of course, the real winners here are the kids, whose dinner plates will be full,' wrote Cindy Huddleston, an attorney with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added] who advocates for safety-net programs for low-income families. 'However, this is also a victory for those who made their voices heard.'"


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