Al Lawson campaign
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Congressman Al Lawson won Tuesday’s Democratic primary election for the fifth congressional district, besting former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. Lawson is looking past November’s election with an ambitious agenda for his next session.

Charlotte90T via flickr /

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Victoria Weler / WFSU

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson is launching his Let’s Feed America campaign, which aims to reduce hunger by expanding eligibility and making it easier for those in need to receive access to food. Lawson says 1 out of 4 people in the fifth congressional district have been on the SNAP Program or food stamps this year.

Tallahassee Democrat

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

Jaro Larnos via flickr /

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.

Carl Clifford via Flickr

WFSU news is taking a look at hunger in the Big Bend this week. In the final installment of our series we’ll take a look at the impact food deserts have on a person’s ability access fresh fruits and vegetables and the potential impact of new legislation lawmakers hope will help.

Fruits and Veggies at a farmer's market
Natalie Maynor

Rep. Reggie Fullwood (D-Jacksonville) wants to increase Floridians’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables. He’s pushing a bill that would help those receiving food stamps spend that assistance money at farmers markets.

Florida Department of Agriculture

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has announced the launch of a new online mapping tool to help officials and non-profit groups better assess food needs statewide.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture, one in six Floridians is considered food insecure. That includes one out of four kids. Calling it a “solvable issue,” Putnam says it’s not because Florida’s food supply is lacking.

Cleber Mori

Lawmakers are getting a green thumbs up for plan to give food stamp recipients more access to farmers markets.

As part of a push to help the state’s low income residents get more access to fresh fruit and vegetables, Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando) is sponsoring a bill that would make it easier for farmers market vendors to accept electronic benefits cards from food stamp recipients.


Florida’s hungry are about to get hungrier. This month, those who depend on food stamps got a little less to spend and members of Congress are discussing a plan that could cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, even further. Meanwhile,  charities and food pantries say they’re already stretched to the max and can’t fill the gap SNAP is leaving.

It’s just after midnight on the first day of November and for Beverly Gonzalez that means it’s time to go grocery shopping.

courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Low-income families who receive benefits via electronic cards issued by Florida’s Department of Children and Families spent most of Monday in the dark, thanks to a pre-planned outage. DCF used the day to change its systems as the department switches card vendors. Spokesman Whitney Ray says the department chose to rely on social media rather than on sending out letters to notify recipients…

Florida Governor Rick Scott expressed support for adding restrictions to the food assistance program known as SNAP.  SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; it’s the modern version of the federal food stamps program.

The proposal crafted by Congressman Steve Southerland of Florida’s 2nd District requires individuals to show they’re looking for work – kind of like the requirements for unemployment support.