Long Lines for Food Benefits in Central Fla.

posted by Alan McBride - 

People who lost food when Hurricane Irma left them without power for prolonged periods lined up in Central Florida Wednesday for benefits.

The benefits are being distributed by the Department of Children and Families, under the Food for Florida heading of the federal Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Wednesday was the last day to apply for food assistance, and there were reports that tens of thousands of people had been requesting help since the weekend.

Irma left many people with their cupboards bare, and the food assistance program offered them a chance to continue along the road to recovery in the weeks after the hurricane.

Officials say in Orlando, people had lined up before daybreak Wednesday morning at the registration center at Camping World Stadium.

By the time the center was supposed to have closed, authorities said there were roughly 5,000 people still in line and waiting.

According to the people running the Food for Florida registrations, the plan was to make sure everyone got the help they needed.

About 500 employees with the Department of Children and Families were reportedly on hand to help get people registered for the assistance.

Employees and others speculated that there were so many people in line for benefits Wednesday because it was the last day to register in Orange County.

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