August 24, 2021

Florida hasn’t asked for $820 million in federal food assistance for children

Lawrence Mower writes:

"TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has not yet applied for up to $820 million in food assistance to more than 2 million Florida children, raising concerns from food assistance groups and others who note that child hunger remains a significant problem.

The federal program, called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, was created last year to help feed children who missed meals because they weren’t attending schools in person during the pandemic. The program deposits money to a card for families of children who qualify for free or reduced meals at their school. It was created by the federal government last year to ensure children were still being fed while they attended school remotely.


'It’s a very troubling trend that we’re leaving money on the table to feed people in need, at no cost to Floridians,”'said Cindy Huddleston, a senior policy analyst for the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], a progressive think tank.

Huddleston said the Department of Children and Families, which handles the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and other food assistance programs, hasn’t told her whether they will apply for the summer program.


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