Friday last day of food aid for flood victims

September 3, 2010 6:35:57 PM PDT
Friday was the final day for local flood victims to apply for food aid from the government. People have been waiting in long lines, in some cases all night long, to sign up to receive electronic food stamps.

The deadline for local flood victims to be in line in order to receive aid was 4 p.m. Friday.

Lines were long all week. It has been a difficult and frustrating process, but with potential aid going up to $1,000 per household, this is a helping hand that many in these lines simply could not afford to refuse.

At the Humboldt Park office, the line to get a ticket to apply for aid never lasted longer than a few minutes. But the lines for people with tickets for service -- well, that was a different story altogether. At locations all over the city and suburbs, lines extended as far as a half-mile long.

At 41st and Wallace, people camped out overnight.

"When I get here at 10 o'clock last night the line was already beginning to form, so I stayed all night in line. I had my umbrella in the rain," said Willie Jordan.

The Food Assistance program for this summer's flood victims has been so popular that 50,000 people statewide are expected to benefit from it by the time all is said and done.

All applicants have had to prove is that they live or work in an area affected by July's floods.

Aid is handed out based on household size.

"This is gonna help me by replacing the meat that I lost, because my refrigerator and electricity went off. And in my basement I lost the freezer that I had, because it got flooded," said Colleen Johnson, a flood-aid applicant.

Some applicants will have to come back next week to find out if they qualify for aid. They are part of the overflow that the Department of Human Services will spend the next several days getting to.

"We're looking to wrap this up at this particular location next Friday. We may spill into Monday in the week of the 13th, possibly," said Margaro Rosario, Illinois Dept. of Human Services.

The Department of Human Services will be processing people next week, but only if they received their application tickets by 4 p.m. Friday.

Those who still need federal assistance can apply with FEMA.

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