On Saturday, local leaders in Miami-Dade came together in a news conference to urge Congress to extend a stimulus package that includes funding for food distribution.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, and Miami Beach Commissioner David Richardson participated in the event. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava attended the news conference virtually due to her recent COVID-19 diagnosis.
Levine Cava said that South Florida is ranked the most food insecure metro-area in the country. She added that the federally-funded CARES Act has been a lifeline, helping 100,000 families in Miami Beach put food on the table as well as help with rent assistance and business relief. But she said more aid is needed, namely because South Florida’s tourism industry has been hard-hit by the pandemic.
“We need these stimulus funds now more than ever,” she said.
Richardson pointed out that Miami-Dade alone has held almost 200 food distribution events since March and has given out $5 million worth of food to residents.
“We’re seeing shortages, because, as I mentioned, we’re in phase 4 of the funding under the CARES Act that, you know, kept extending…It started June 1 and it’s now gone through Dec. 31. The supply that we are getting for phase 4 is less than the supply that was available under phase 3,” Richardson said.
Mayor Suarez says that the problem is not unique to Florida and that all mayors nationally are coming together to urge Congress to provide help for Americans.