Large crowds overwhelm hurricane help across Florida

MIAMI (AP) Scuffles broke out and people waiting in long lines fainted from the heat, causing officials in South Florida to cancel a food voucher giveaway for people affected by Hurricane Irma.

On Saturday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office canceled Sunday’s voucher giveaway in the county due to “safety concerns and overwhelming response.”

In Miami-Dade County some 50,000 people were already waiting in line when the doors opened at a Miami park facility on Sunday morning, Ofelia Martinez, a site manager for the Florida Department of Children and Families, told the Miami Herald.

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People began lining up at 4 a.m. Sunday for food assistance in Lakeland, but organizers cut the lines at noon, citing safety concerns.

The state agency says more than 1.1 million people applied for the program, which provides vouchers that can be used a grocery stores.

It was unclear whether everyone who showed up Sunday got a chance to apply.

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Food assistance sites will be set up later this month in Southwest Florida at these locations:

  • Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, 10601 Bonita Beach Road SE, Bonita Springs (open Oct. 26-Oct. 31).
  • Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte (open Oct. 22-23)
  • Forrey Drive, LaBelle (between East Cowboy Way and East Hickpochee Avenue, open Oct. 28-Oct. 30).
  • Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St., Arcadia (open Oct. 20-21)
  • Westfield Sarasota Square, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (open Oct. 16-17)

Click here for more information on the distribution.