A record high 3.5 million Floridians are on food stamps.
That is one out of every six people in the state. SNAP, the state agency in charge of the program, is changing vendors.
For several hours on Monday, Florida’s millions of electronic benefits cards will not work.
The Department of Children and Families told recipients to prepare for the one-day downtime by buying extra groceries this weekend.
“They’re taking every effort that they can to get families that would receive benefits during that time to get that loaded to their cards early, so that they can plan for that in advance,” said Jenn Petion, Director of Community and Government Relations for Partnership with Strong Families.
DCF in Gainesville offered a little help by sharing baked goods for people to take home to better prepare themselves. The dry goods will be available again on Friday.
“Since that I know that it won’t be working I’ll try to shop earlier and try to prepare and get the things that I need before time,” said Gainesville Resident, Mozell London.
Some adults who went also brought their children with them.
The switch to e-funds will officially take place at midnight on Monday, and the cards will hopefully be working again by Monday night.
Switching to the new system will save $21 million.
New EBT cards will not be needed, it is just the system change that will force the Monday outage.
DCF worked with e-funds and Florida retailers to make the transition as smooth as possible.
A new gallup poll found 1 in 5 Americans have struggled at times to afford food. Gallup asked the question regularly, and this statistic is the highest it has been since October 2011 amid the recession.