Florida’s residents are demanding Gov. Ron DeSantis to reverse his decision which was not to list the state in a pandemic program to provide federal food aid to 2.1 million children from low-income homes.
People all over Florida said through his action DeSantis is blocking Florida’s neediest families from getting in child food aid which was worth about $820 million.
And according to this resident, he’s the sole reason behind it.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings who is fighting for his U.S.Senate seat wrote on Thursday that It’s not acceptable that Florida is the only state which hasn’t signed up for federal funding to ensure that children don’t go hungry. He also said that playing politics with hungry children is simply cruel.
Florida also took part in the program, the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, during the last school year. The state had received $1.2 billion which was more than a million kids who qualified for free or reduced lunch through June.
Florida’s families are missing out on about $820 million in child food assistance.
This program was started under former President Donald Trump as part of the Families First Covid-19 Response Act. This program was introduced to help children who had received free food at school. This program was also available for children who were 5 years old and whose families were enrolled for federal program benefits over the summer.
The USDA extended P-EBT under President Joe Biden and allowed it to continue, enabling states that hadn’t signed up yet to do so during the regular 2021-22 school year. During this time, Florida failed to apply.
Marie Woodson said in a statement that Florida is not taking advantage of a program that will help some of the most vulnerable children in Florida. She also continued that It’s incomprehensible, and it is time for the rest of the nation to join and allow Floridians to benefit from this program.
Ramon Alexander of Tallahassee said that this is not a partisan issue. He continued by saying that It’s about being a leader for all Floridians and helping them in investing in the health and wellbeing of children, our communities, and the State. As of now, DeSantis has offered very little explanation for why they haven’t taken any further advantage of the program, and he has remained silent on the matter.
She even wrote P-EBT was first introduced by the federal government last year to ensure children were still being fed while they attended school remotely. As schools are not remote in Florida and were not done remotely last year well.
According to Tampa Bay Times reported, Florida SNAP recipients lost about $280 million per month of federal benefits when DeSantis allowed the state’s pandemic state of emergency. Floridians lost more than $300 million in federal unemployment benefits in May as an effort by his administration to get residents to join the workforce again.
DeSantis has been coming into the spotlight for refusing to rejoin the P-EBT program while he’s involved in a legal battle that he signed on June 30 barring schools from requiring students to wear masks on campus.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, criticized him last month for forcing parents to make terrible choices between their children’s education and protecting them from Coronavirus. She later criticized his decision is not to pursue P-EBT aid.
There is simply no reason why you should have ended this critical federal program for the children that are being provided at no cost to the state, said she wrote in a letter, indicating that it’s not too late to apply for the funds. She also said that the residents of Florida cannot afford the means of leaving food off their tables.
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