Lines were moving much more quickly at Hard Rock Stadium at mid-day Thursday, the final day to register for disaster food assistance (D-SNAP) in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
After reaching capacity early Wednesday amid accounts of people passing out in the heat, the registration sites seemed to have finally gotten into the swing of things Thursday.
Sweaty and eager to be done waiting in line, most were just happy to get the assistance they walked away with, ranging between $192 and $1,153.
“It’s been good, out of zero to 10, a 10,” said Willie Sanders pushing his mother in a wheelchair. “It’s going to put food in my house so I can eat.”
As people wound their way through fences and then up into the stadium, the Hard Rock Stadium staff, who are used to game-day crowds, cheered and yelled encouragement that they were almost there.
It was a very different scene than at the temporary registration sites where registration was held the first time. There, staff was few and far between and lines were far less organized.
Registration will wrap up Thursday evening despite pending litigation over how accessible registration was for people with disabilities. In a tentative agreement between lawyers with the University of Miami Heath Rights Clinic, representing the Miami Workers Center, and the state and federal government, people who pre-register by the time the registration sites close may get the opportunity to do a phone interview at some later date. Interviews have been done in person due to concerns about fraud.
“It’s not that easy to get out there in the crowd… I have a patient daughter to help me a lot,” said Cleo Robinson, hunched over her walker as she emerged from the Hard Rock registration site. There, the Department of Children an families, which administers D-SNAP for the state, had set up a separate registration site for people with disabilities with a significantly shorter line and golf-cart transportation back to their cars.
But, after waiting in line for two hours, Robinson added, “from what I’ve seen on TV, it was not bad at all.”
If the federal government does not agree to offer telephone interviews, a federal judge will weigh in on the matter.