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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson

Representing the 24th District of Florida

Wilson and Lawson Urge Administration to Approve Disaster Food Benefits for Florida

May 22, 2020
Press Release

Miami, FL – Representatives Frederica Wilson and Al Lawson, Jr., sent a letter this week to President Donald Trump urging him to amend Florida’s Major Disaster Declaration to allow the state to administer the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. D-SNAP enables people who are not typically eligible for SNAP but have been impacted by a disaster to receive food benefits. 

On March 22, Governor DeSantis sent a letter to the administration requesting a major emergency declaration for Florida and authorization to activate D-SNAP. While Florida was granted a disaster declaration, the Department of Agriculture has not approved the much-needed disaster food aid.

On April 2, Congresswoman Wilson led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of Florida’s D-SNAP request. The letter was co-signed by Representatives Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Mario Díaz-Balart (FL-25), Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Al Lawson, Jr. (FL-5), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Darren Soto (FL-9), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Senator Marco Rubio.

Reps. Wilson and Lawson’s letter to the president 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. This 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 Rep. Wilson. “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,” Rep. Lawson said. “By approving this request, we can ensure that food assistance is part of our comprehensive recovery efforts.”

To read the full letter to the president, click here.