Franklin County, FL - Today, Governor Rick Scott met with distressed Franklin County residents and local officials who have been impacted due to the decline of oysters and other fisheries in the Apalachicola Bay. The Governor met with local officials and got a firsthand account of the impact the oyster and fishery industry has experienced.
“Florida is working with the Army Corps for a long-term plan to address the needs of Franklin County, while also helping to address short-term needs through worker training and food banks. When one community in our state hurts, we all come together to help,” said Governor Rick Scott. “The Apalachicola Bay is critical to the State of Florida. It is home to the world’s best oysters and fisheries, and the hardworking residents here rely on the Bay to provide for their families. State agencies and community organizations are coming together to ensure families in this area can get back on their feet quickly.”
During his visit, Governor Scott got a tour of the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Mobile One-Stop Unit which is providing a full range of employment, reemployment and Reemployment Assistance Program services to local residents. DEO is coordinating a food drive with state agencies to help the impacted residents, and the first batch of food was delivered to Franklin County today, with additional deliveries scheduled for Friday.
A previously held resource fair weeks earlier assisted more than 500 residents in the area. The Governor announced another upcoming resource fair scheduled for October 12 and a National Emergency Grant will provide more than $250,000 to hire dislocated fishermen as workers to help the County with traditional recovery efforts.
“Under Governor Scott’s direction, DEO, the Department of Children and Families and other state partners in the Rural Economic Development Initiative are working collaboratively with local agencies to develop long-term strategies to assist in supporting the region,” said DEO Executive Director Hunting F. Deutsch. “We want to ensure we access any and all available resources to assist the residents of Franklin County with providing for their families.”
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is working with the community to recruit and provide training to 15 volunteers to assist with the emergency needs of Franklin County residents. One temporary employee hired by DCF will assist people at the Apalachicola location of Franklin’s Promise Coalition, a community coalition with a mission to improve the quality of life for Franklin County residents.
“Our agency will continue to partner with the Franklin County community to create innovative and effective ways to best serve everyone affected by the fishery resource crisis,” said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. “We are committed to helping the people of the Apalachicola Bay area get the assistance they need.”
Anyone interested in contributing canned or non-perishable foods for residents impacted residents in Franklin County can drop off their items at the DEO visitor entrance located at 107 East Madison Street, Tallahassee. Please visit Franklin County’s Disaster Relief Fund at http://www.bayaidfranklin.com/.