Hurricane Ian victims seek D-SNAP benefits at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium

Three-day event allowed families who suffered damages to check eligibility for federal assistance

ORLANDO, Fla. – During a three-day event at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, families who suffered damages or food loss from Hurricane Ian arrived to see whether they were eligible for the federal funds.

“The power went out, and everything and the food, a lot of gone went to waste not being able to go and buy a meal was frustrating,” Efrain Cisneros recalled.

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Cisneros accompanied his mother to Camping World Stadium. His family hopes to get an EBT card, which is sent to impacted families. The card will be good for 90 days.

Lisa Demps is among the thousands of Orange County residents whose home was damaged by Hurricane Ian.

“Ninety days is a lot; it helps, like, save more money to fix up the things that the hurricane lost,” Cisneros said.

“Oh, it has been frustrating very much because when it rain now with the roof being, you know, damaged up there, and I got a skylight up there and the rain coming through the skylight into the bathroom,” Demps said. “I moved out for a week into the hotel, and I didn’t get paid for that.”

Demps said she hopes to get some financial relief through the Department of Children and Families with their Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, also known as D-SNAP.

“In order to be eligible, you need to be not a current SNAP recipient, had been impacted by the storm, have damages or food loss — that kind of thing,” Tanya Veltkamp, the deputy assistant secretary for economic self-sufficiency, said. “The most important thing that we must have is an ID. That doesn’t have to be like a driver’s license. It can be any type of identification, and if they don’t, then like a passport.”

There are some limitations as to what type of food can be purchased with the EBT card. For example, those funds cannot be used to buy energy drinks.

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About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.