Miami-Dade County

If you are seeking food assistance in Dade or Broward today, here's what you need to know

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. From Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 7-9, DCF will operate a center at Hard Rock Stadium and another at BB&T Center.
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. From Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 7-9, DCF will operate a center at Hard Rock Stadium and another at BB&T Center. mocner@miamiherald.com

For those who missed out on emergency food stamps after Hurricane Irma, the Department of Children and Families will open one Miami-Dade and one Broward site from Tuesday through Thursday.

The sites — Hard Rock Stadium in Miami-Dade and BB&T Center in Broward — will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Last month, tens of thousands of people showed up at the four assistance centers in Miami-Dade and three in Broward. to get D-SNAP benefits. The overwhelming response led to several closures.

This time around, DCF says it has taken several steps to mitigate the long lines.

For one, the agency has assigned specific days based on a person’s last name. The agency has said there will be special accommodations for the elderly and disabled and people aiding with traffic control.

Here are some general tips to prepare for getting emergency food stamps:

▪ Emergency food stamps are only for people who don’t currently receive food stamp benefits and who suffered losses or had expenses related to Irma, from Sept. 5 through Oct. 4.

▪ Only the head of the household can apply.

▪ Pre-registering will make the process easier.

▪ Bring a valid Florida Driver’s License or Identification Card.

Tips for Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Drive, Miami Gardens:

▪ The event is divided on time slots based on a person’s last name. People whose last name begins with A–F must go Tuesday. Those whose last name begins with G-P must go Wednesday. And those whose last name begins with Q-Z must go Thursday, DCF says.

▪ Those who attend the distribution at Hard Rock Stadium must follow 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.

▪ No cars or people can line up in advance of the opening. Do not show up early.

▪ A designated parking area at the North Gate will be available for individuals with special needs. Those with state-issued permits will enter through Gates 2 and 3.

▪ DCF said special accommodations are available for the elderly and disabled. The agency said those in need should find staff to inquire about expedited service, but it didn’t elaborate. The University of Miami Law Clinic has sued DCF, contending the agency violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to provide adequate accommodation for the disabled.

Tips for BB&T Center, One Panther Parkway, Sunrise

▪ The event is divided on time slots based on a person’s last name. People whose last name begins with A–F must go Tuesday. Those whose last name begins with G-P must go Wednesday. And those whose last name begins with Q-Z must go Thursday, DCF says.

▪ Only people in vehicles will be allowed in.

▪ People cannot bring bags or personal items larger than 12-by-12 inches. Also prohibited: backpacks, coolers and chairs.

▪ Bring jackets or sweaters because the center is kept cold to maintain the ice for the Florida Panthers hockey team.

▪ There will be two special needs application processing areas inside of the BB&T Center on the main level for applicants with special needs. Golf-cart drivers near the center’s handicap parking areas will take people to the entrance.

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

Thousands of people line up in hopes of receiving aid from a post-hurricane disaster center in Tropical Park in Miami on Sunday. Oct. 15, 2017.

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