Thousands line up for disaster food stamps in Pasco County

- Thousands of Pasco County residents woke up early Sunday morning to get in line for disaster food stamps in Dade City.

The Food for Florida site opened at 7 a.m. Sunday at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, and by then traffic had already started backing up along State Road 52. Some said they waited in line for hours in their cars just to enter the parking lots.

"I got here about 4 a.m. and traffic was horrendous," said Marco Tapia.

Those who had attempted to apply at other Food For Florida sites however said Pasco's lines were minimal in comparison.

"We showed up at 3:00 in the morning and some of my buddies didn’t get through until 4 in the afternoon the lines were so long," recalled Sean Williams, who says he wasn't able to wait the full 13 hours his friends spent in line at the Hillsborough County site.

Residents who lost power during Hurricane Irma can apply for the food stamps, which cover the cost of food lost during the storm.

A previously scheduled Food for Florida event at a different Pasco County location was cancelled in late October.

"I think it was a good decision to move it. They are very organized. A lot of people may not think so, but they are very organized considering," said Ann Truett. "I expected to wait for a long time. Some people I know have waited up to five hours so that was my expectation, but it didn’t happen so I’m happy."

The Food for Florida site at the fairgrounds will remain open until Wednesday November 8. Residents are encouraged to first apply online here.

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