Florida Food Assistance program closes in Duval County

Residents hoped to get federal assistance after Hurricane Irma. JSO shut down the event after 5 p.m. over safety concerns.

Thousands have lined up, some for hours at regency square mall, looking to get food assistance after Hurricane Irma.
             
Tuesday night, several people were turned away.

First Coast News crew was thereafter police shut the line down.
       
The department of children and families says due to safety concerns the line for federal food assistance at regency square mall was cut off at five Tuesday afternoon

The event has been going on for seven days with Tuesday being the final day in Duval County.

Barbara Kemp, a single mother of three, says a tree fell through her Jacksonville home during Hurricane Irma.
           
Her family evacuated, spending hundreds of dollars on hotels.
           
Kemp says it was a tough expense when money is already tight.

"I work long hours and it's just us so, this helps tremendously," Kemp said.

Kemp says the program is providing assistance to her family for two months.
      
"It's a blessing for sure because that was a lot of money everyone spent to prepare and that's a lot of money you don't always have," mother of two, Hannah Hendrix said.

Hendrix and her husband evacuated after the storm due to not having power for several days.

"We lost a lot of food from the power being out," Hendrix said.

According to the Department of Children and Families, the food for Florida Disaster Food Assistance Program has assisted more than two million families across the state.
          
that's more than $836 million in financial aid, according to state figures.

"Take some stress off of our back from trying to food back in the house from losing so much," Hendrix said.

"You're getting the help that you didn't have before so when they announced that people who weren't getting assistance, they were able to give, it took a lot of weight off of us," Kemp said.

If you did not get the chance to make it out to Regency Mall this week, the Food Assistance event will now move to Lake City.

The center will open Friday. Click here for more information.

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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