At the end of last week, two Democrats representing Florida in the U.S. House wrote President Donald Trump, calling on him to amend the state’s Major Disaster Declaration to let the state administer the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).
U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., wrote Trump on the matter at the end of last week.
“D-SNAP enables people who are not typically eligible for SNAP but have been impacted by a disaster to receive food benefits,” Wilson’s office noted.
On March 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote the White House, urging the federal government to activate D-SNAP benefits as part of an emergency declaration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the start of April, Wilson and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote U.S. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue to approve the state’s request to administer D-SNAP. Besides Rubio and Wilson, other signers include U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Val Demings, D-Fla., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., Lawson, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Donna Shalala, D-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
The letter Wilson and Lawson sent at the end of last week “follows up on this request by appealing to the White House for an expansion of the individual assistance authorized in the state’s disaster declaration,” insisting “broader authorization would clarify USDA’s capacity to approve D-SNAP and, without the change, USDA may not consider Florida eligible for the emergency food benefits.”
“Many Florida families are struggling to put food on the table amid this crisis, including households that never needed assistance before the coronavirus pandemic engulfed our state, ” said Wilson at the end of last week. “Disaster food aid would go a long way in helping to ensure that no Floridian is forced to go hungry and I urge the administration to ensure this program is up and running as quickly as possible.”
“We can immediately help Floridians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring that eligible families can have access to D-SNAP benefits,” Lawson said. “By approving this request, we can ensure that food assistance is part of our comprehensive recovery efforts.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.