Miami-Dade County

New Miami-Dade, Broward food stamp distribution dates, DCF announces

Ramon Heredia, 60, from Hialeah, stands in line in hopes of receiving aid from a post-hurricane disaster center in Tropical Park in Miami on Sunday, Oct. 15. New dates for distribution have been announced.
Ramon Heredia, 60, from Hialeah, stands in line in hopes of receiving aid from a post-hurricane disaster center in Tropical Park in Miami on Sunday, Oct. 15. New dates for distribution have been announced. mocner@miamiherald.com

For those impacted by Hurricane Irma who missed out on getting emergency food stamps earlier this month from the Florida Department of Children and Families, there will be a second chance.

On Monday, DCF announced Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) benefits will be distributed during a three-day span at a Miami-Dade and Broward site.

Both events will run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 7 to 9, next Tuesday through Thursday. The Miami-Dade distribution will be at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., in Miami Gardens. The Broward distribution will be at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise.

Earlier this month, DCF opened four assistance centers in Miami-Dade and three in Broward to provide emergency food stamps for those impacted by Hurricane Irma and don’t regularly receive financial assistance.

The overwhelming response caused law enforcement to request that three centers in Broward and one in Miami-Dade be shut down. Tropical Park alone drew about 50,000 people in a single day.

JoNel Newman, director of the University of Miami Health Rights Clinic, said the three-day event in early November is not enough to fill the need.

“We expected this, but we hoped for better,” said Newman, who along with other advocacy groups wrote DCF a letter asking for a better distribution system. “I think there is a high likelihood of the same sort of problem.”

DCF said in a news release Monday that the agency coordinated with local law enforcement and organizations “to ensure safe and efficient operations.”

At the Miami-Dade site, DCF said the agency worked closely with the Miami-Dade police department and the stadium’s management. Those who attend the distribution at Hard Rock Stadium must adhere to the stadium’s clear-bag policy, which allows people to carry only one clear plastic bag, gallon size, into the stadium. You are also allowed to carry a small purse.

For the Broward event, the agency coordinated with the Sunrise Police Department, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Broward County Administration, United Way, the Red Cross, and the venue’s management. People cannot bring bags or personal items larger than 12-by-12 inches, backpacks, coolers and chairs.

Jessica Sims, a spokeswoman for DCF, said in an email that there will be a separate parking area and line for individuals with special needs at the Miami-Dade location. She said the Broward site will provide “direct assistance” to individuals in need, and have a separate line for those with special needs.

People are encouraged to pre-register before going to a site.

For more information, visit: www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/fff/.

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