Moms find hope in food assistance after Irma

Posted at 8:48 PM, Oct 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 12:46:52-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Food for Florida Disaster Assistance Program has been handing out food stamps for those that are eligible. Several families that have been struggling with the post-Hurricane Irma aftermath were able to walk out in nearly 20 minutes with extra financial support.

“It’s like a life saver. I’m almost like c’mon let’s go, let’s have a half-way decent dinner tonight," said Kellyanne Breadmore, mother of two small children.

Breadmore drove all the way from Sarasota to receive assistance from the program at the Charlotte Sports Park. She says her children tend to be sensitive to different foods and therefore their meals can be expensive.

“They lived off of peanut butter and jelly. I mean we were in the car for more than a day,” she explained. “[My son has] been having stomach issues again because I can’t buy the high fiber and all these fruits and stuff like that… and have him back on a strict diet."

Breadmore is one of over 1,100 people to be apply for help at the program's center in Port Charlotte. As of late last week, the state's Department of Children and Families said it had processed nearly 700,000 applications from people who applied for help.

Customers just need to bring in a valid photo I.D. and then they can sit down with workers to talk about things such as their income loss due to the storm or the number of people in their household. Afterwards, if they are eligible, customers like Breadmore will walk out with an EBT card that will become active with funds in three days.

Organizers say they encourage those in need to pre-register online on the Florida Department of Children and Families website. Pre-registration will expedite the process. In fact, many were able to get in and out of the facility within just 20 minutes.

Charlotte Sports Park will be open Monday from 7 a.m to 6 p.m.

If you live in Lee or Collier County, you can find help in Fort Myers starting October 26th through the 31st from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lee County Port Authority overflow parking lot on Chamberlain Parkway. 

If you're in Glades or Hendry County, you can find help in Labelle on October 28th through the 30th on Forrey Drive.

More info of Food for Florida locations can be found HERE.