Some Wilma Affected Families Still Starving for Food Debit Cards

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

The Florida Department of Children and Families sent out hundreds of thousands of debit cards to help people devastated by Hurricane Wilma buy food for their families. But two months after the storm, it turns out many families are still waiting for cards that never arrived.

DCF spokesman Tim Bottcher says the agency is trying to make things right.

"We realize that particularly at this time of year, when we’re in the holiday season, Christmas is fast approaching, how important it is to get these benefits to people who desperately need them, to hurricane victims.”

DCF says the vast majority of the nearly 700,000 debit cards that were intended to help storm victims did get to the right person, but if you’re one of the families still waiting, you may have to wait a little longer.

Banking giant JP Morgan Chase has the contract with the state to issue the food stamp debit cards. But spokeswoman Judy Miller says the company has no comment on the missing cards. She referred questions back to DCF. DCF isn’t sure how many cards didn’t make it to storm victims, but it’s trying to find out.

Tim Bottcher adds, "Our goal here is for people who were approved for these benefits to resolve these problems and get these benefits into their hands."

Otherwise, storm victims already struggling will have an even bleaker holiday.

People approved for the emergency food stamp debit cards who have not received them can call DCF at 1-866-762-2237 to report the problem.


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