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Food Stamp Frustrations

January 7th, 2009 by flanews

Police were called to a food stamp office in Plantation to maintain order because of high levels of frustration over wait times.

Offices across the state have seen a recent spike in clients. 1.8 million Floridians are now receiving food stamps, thats about one out of every 10. The states food stamp hotline has been slammed with more than 3 million calls last month, making it harder for people to apply over the phone. Secretary of the Department of Children and Families George Sheldon is asking lawmakers for help.

Ive also asked the legislature, and I think theyre going to do that, to give us the ability to pay overtime so that our workers can work longer hours in order to catch up with the massive influx of new applications, said Sheldon.

Broward County Representative Joe Gibbons is on board to help fix the problem.

We need to take that as a signal and a sign that theres really unrest in people and people arent satisfied with the way we are handling our business. When you dont have your business correct you have instances that pop up so wee need to head it off at the pass and in fact take a look at the situation, whats causing that situation and find a way, a peaceful way to deal with it and mitigate it so it doesnt happen again, said Gibbons.

DCF is asking clients to be patient when calling of visiting their local food stamp offices and to check out their accounts online when possible. You can check out your account online at www.myflorida.com/accessflorida

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