DCF Encourages Floridians to Sign Up for Emergency Food Assistance Alerts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2012

DCF Encourages Floridians to Sign Up for Emergency Food Assistance Alerts
New technology implemented to respond more quickly after hurricanes, other disasters

 TALLAHASSEE—With most of Florida under severe weather warnings resulting from Tropical Storm Isaac, the Department of Children and Families is ready to provide food assistance to those in need after the storm passes. Floridians are encouraged to sign up for DCF’s text and email alerts at www.myflfamilies.com in order to receive instant notification of emergency food services available in their areas.

“Individuals and families who sign up for these alerts will be the first to know if their area will receive emergency food assistance,” Secretary David Wilkins said. “This new technology is just one of the many innovative ways our department is reaching out to communities across the state to assist them in their time of need.”

The Department of Children and Families’ “Food for Florida” disaster relief program provides emergency food assistance to families in need after a hurricane or another disaster under federal guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Florida distributed $270 million in emergency aid to more than 2 million people after Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

In addition, families and individuals who are current food assistance clients may receive replacement of benefits for the value of the food lost because of damage to their home or sustained electrical outages. To report food loss or to request replacement benefits, customers can obtain the Food Assistance Replacement Authorization Form at www.dcf.state.fl.us/DCFForms/Search/OpenDCFForm.aspx?FormId=597. Customers can submit the form via fax at 866-886-4342 or by mailing it to: ACCESS Central Mail Center, PO Box 1, Wildwood, FL 34785.

To sign up for emergency food assistance alerts, go to www.myflfamilies.com and enter your email address in the center box below the banner. Please choose “Food for Florida Disaster Assistance” under the ACCESS Florida box to receive alerts specifically about disaster assistance. After signing up, you can go to the “Subscriber Preferences” page and enter a phone number for text alerts as well.

To prepare your family for a hurricane, please go to the state of Florida’s “Get a Plan” site at www.floridadisaster.org. For more information about food safety, please download “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” at www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Severe_Storms_and_Hurricanes_Guide.pdf

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