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On March 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the administration requesting an emergency declaration for the state of Florida and the activation of D-SNAP.
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U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), along with members of the Florida Delegation, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to approve the state of Florida’s request to implement the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).

D-SNAP allows people who are not typically eligible for SNAP benefits, but have been impacted by a disaster, to receive aid. In addition, current SNAP recipients would see an increase in their supplemental benefits to the maximum amount for their household size.

“We can immediately help the families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring SNAP recipients are able to purchase hot and ready-to-eat meals,” Rep. Lawson said. “By implementing this request, we can ensure that food assistance is part of our comprehensive recovery efforts.”

On March 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the administration requesting an emergency declaration for the state of Florida and the activation of D-SNAP. Florida has experienced a surge in applications for unemployment benefits. More than 74,000 people have filed unemployment claims during the week of March 15.

The actual number of people seeking benefits is potentially higher given how overwhelmed the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is due to high call volume and website traffic,” the letter said. “Sadly, the number of people needing assistance will increases significantly as the virus continues to spread and businesses are forced to close their doors.”

Florida Rep. Fredrica Wilson, who signed the letter, released a statement about Florida's need for food assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“Even in the best of times it is often a struggle for many families to put food on the table,” said Rep. Wilson. “In the midst of this crisis, many Floridians who have been laid off or had to cover unexpected COVID-19-related expenses don’t know where to turn to get their next meal. D-SNAP could make all the difference for struggling families and I hope that USDA acts swiftly to approve this much-needed aid.”

The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Al Lawson, Kathy Castor (FL-14), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Darren Soto (FL-9), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Senator Marco Rubio.

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