MiamiHerald / Before Michelle Velez left her home at 6 a.m. Thursday to apply for disaster food assistance, she had one thought: “What am I getting myself into?”

She had seen the news reports of long lines in the punishing heat and the traffic jams that had snarled cars for blocks outside both of the registration sites in Miami-Dade and Broward. She remembered the lack of parking when she had tried to apply for the same disaster food aid last month, where she was turned away before she could even get inside.

But there was no choice, said Velez, 34, as she shuffled forward in line with her fiancĂ©, Christian, outside Hard Rock Stadium. Her Miami Gardens home has three kids and two grandparents who could use the extra help. “We need to replenish what we’ve lost,” she said.

Velez joined thousands already pooling at the Miami Gardens stadium, where the Dolphins and Hurricanes play football, for the final day of the Department of Children and Families’ disaster food assistance program after Hurricane Irma.


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