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As COVID Eases, Children's Advocates Worry Food Assistance Will Dwindle

workers in field
Florida Department of Health
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The Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations sometimes helps families apply for federal food assistance when some of the family members are citizens and some are undocumented.

A statewide organization representing farmworkers is raising alarms about food insecurity as resources made available during the pandemic begin to cut back.

A statewide organization representing farmworkers is raising alarms about food insecurity among Latino Floridians.

“Now that the pandemic is kind of easing up, we see that the resources are now going back, going back. And pretty soon, we’re going to not have any of the resources that are trying to feed families," says Arturo Lopez, executive director of the Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations.

Lopez is hoping for a federal policy change that would make undocumented children eligible for SNAP benefits (also called food stamps).

SNAP, as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is known, provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT).

Lopez says his group sometimes helps families apply for assistance where some of the family members are citizens and some are undocumented. Like a family with three children:

“One of them was born here. The other two weren’t, so that family only gets food stamps for that one child. I really think that regardless of the status of the children, they should be eligible,” he says.

Lopez says his Homestead-based organization also advocated for a bill in the Legislature that would have reimbursed nonprofits that help people sign up for food benefits. It died in committee during this year’s session.


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