- Associated Press - Sunday, October 22, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida officials say they have distributed more than $1 billion worth of food assistance following Hurricane Irma.

Thousands of people statewide have swamped some of the sites where officials were accepting applications for the program that gives out vouchers to use in grocery stores.

Some Democratic politicians, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, have criticized how the aid has been distributed.

As of late last week, the state’s Department of Children and Families said it had processed nearly 700,000 applications from people who applied for help. The state has wrapped up issuing benefits in several counties, but this weekend it opened operations in central Florida.

Irma ripped through the state in early September, causing damage and thousands of job losses.

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