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There are many people in our community who, for many different reasons, are unable to cover their food and/or housing bills. They are proud, hard working people who have fallen on hard times. Life happens.

The purpose of The Pantry of Broward is to help those seniors living on a low fixed income or grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren who are facing challenging times.

How To Get Help

Helpful Links

How To Get Help: Who is eligible for government assistance?

There are many people in our community who, for many different reasons, are unable to cover their food and/or housing bills. They are proud, hard working people who have fallen on hard times. Life happens.

The reason for being of The Pantry of Broward is to help those seniors living on a low fixed income or grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren who are facing challenging times.

It is the State of Florida’s Department of Children and Families who determines eligibility for public benefits through its “ACCESS Florida” program. People in need may apply for food stamps, Medicaid, temporary cash assistance and refugee assistance at four sites in Broward County or on-line through the Internet. If you need help working your way through the system, please call The Pantry of Broward’s social worker at (954) 358-1481 for assistance.

All the State’s public support programs have technical and financial eligibility criteria. These include citizenship, social security number, work registration, child support cooperation, income and assets. To receive cash assistance, a customer must have a related child under the age of 18 in their home.

Financial criteria for Medicaid and Food Stamps is based on the Federal Poverty Level (see chart below), meaning that your gross income (a total of all your income before expenses) cannot exceed the Federal Poverty Level standard for the number of people in your family. Also, your total assets (what you own, including any cash in your bank or savings accounts, some vehicles, property other than your homestead) cannot exceed $2,000 or $3,000 for households with an elderly or disabled member.

Medicaid, which covers doctor, hospital, dental and pharmacy costs, is for pregnant women and families with children up to 21 years of age as well as for individuals who are aged, blind or permanently disabled. Medicaid programs will allow income up to two times (200%) the Federal Poverty Level depending on the age of the child or children to be covered.

Temporary Cash Assistance has much lower income levels. The maximum payment for a family of three is $303 a month.

How To Apply

There are four Florida Department of Children & Services’ customer service sites throughout Broward County where you can complete an application form or application can be made online at Access Florida. Assistance is also available through The Pantry of Broward by calling (954) 358-1481.

Once an application has been received by the Florida Department of Children & Services it will be reviewed and the applicant will either be asked to go to an appointment with them or they may be called for a phone interview. The department takes up to 30 days to determine food stamp eligibility if a paper application is presented or just 7 business days if it is an online application. It is a longer processing time for temporary cash assistance and family Medicaid (45 days); for adult Medicaid (60 days) and disability (90 days).

How You Receive The Money

If you are found eligible for food stamps and/or Temporary Cash Assistance, you will be sent an electronic benefits transfer card – like a debit card – which you can use to spend the money awarded to you. The card is automatically recharged each month. If you are awarded Medicaid, you will receive a gold colored Medicaid card to present to your doctor or pharmacist to show you are covered.

How To Access Help Through The Pantry Of Broward

The Pantry of Broward serves two specific groups of people:

  • Seniors (60 years and older) on a fixed income of less than approximately $800 a month.
  • Economically challenged grandparents who are the principal care providers for their grandchildren.

If you are 60 years old or older with an income not exceeding approx. $700 a month or a grandparent raising your grandchildren and you wish to apply for assistance from The Pantry of Broward, please call us at (954) 358-1481 andto print and complete the Intake Form.

If you are either a senior or a grandparent caring for your grandchildren and you do NOT qualify for services but still feel that you are in great need, please call our social worker at (954) 358-1481.

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Helpful Links

Below you will find some helpful web resources. Links are organized by geographic location to help you find information you are looking for more easily.

Broward County, Florida


Hairstylists for Humanity
2720 S. Oakland Forest Dr
Suite 704
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
ph: 954-735-4459
fax: 954-735-4459
alt: 305-742-6538
Hairstylists for Humanity provides no-cost beauty and grooming services to diverse individuals in need, promote summer food drives, and educate the community through the arts. The Pantry of Broward is grateful for Hairstylists for Humanity’s support for seniors in need.

A school service organization run by teens, dedicated to providing hunger relief by supporting food banks in America.

Short on Thyme, an excellent personal chef who cooks nutritional meals in your home – and donates 10% of income to The Pantry of Broward. So eat well and support The Pantry too!

The Broward Coalition On Aging functions as a common meeting ground for professionals and community members interested in assisting the aging.

The Pet Project promotes the companionship between seniors, the disabled and their pets. The agency provides donated and low-cost pet food for eligible seniors in need in Broward County.

Children’s Services Council of Broward County – “Our Focus Is Our Children”

SBBS – Small Business Bookkeeping Solutions, Inc.

South Florida

Feeding South Florida, a not-for-profit organization, empowers other South Florida Not-for-profit organizations to feed needy people and improve their lives. They do this by providing food and other grocery products; and by educating and engaging our community to fight hunger and poverty.

State of Florida

Florida Department of Elder Affairs
Senior Legal Helpline

Hearing Your Voice: A Guide to Your Dependency Court Case
This publication by the ABA Bar Youth Empowerment Project with Florida’s Children First is intended to help youth understand the dependency court system. It answers youth’s most common questions about being placed into state care, describes all of the pertinent players, defines key terms and discusses the types of hearings that take place in dependency court.

The Relative Care Giver Foundation provides excellent support and referrals for relatives raising their grandchildren in Gilchrist, Columbia and Alachua Counties in Florida.

The Florida Kinship Center at the University of South Florida School of Social Work provides programs and services that benefit relative caregivers across the state.

United States

Aging Statistics

The older population–persons 65 years or older–numbered 37.3 million in 2006 (the latest year for which data is available). They represented 12.4% of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be about 71.5 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 20% of the population by 2030. For more information and statistics, please click here for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging website.

Grandparents.com is the premier life-stage destination for a new generation of active grandparents who want fresh ways to interact, stay connected, and strengthen family bonds.

Casey Family Programs, the ABA Center on Children and the Law, and Generations United are proud to announce the Grandfamilies State Law and Policy Resource Center, found at www.grandfamilies.org. This website provides information on state laws and legislation in support of grandfamilies. The easy-to-use database allows for a search of laws and legislation that address common legal questions surrounding relative care giving both within and outside the child welfare system.

The MetLife Mature Market Institute has released its 2008 national survey of adult day services and home care costs, which found that the national average daily rate for adult day services is $64, up $3 per day or 5 percent from 2007. Click here to read the full study. (The Pantry Note: This is informational only and does not constitute an endorsement). Highlights include:

  • The national average hourly rate for home health aides is $20, a $1 or 5 percent increase from 2007.
  • The 2008 national average hourly homemaker/companion rate is $18, unchanged from last year.
  • This year’s study includes expanded coverage of statewide averages for all 50 states, in addition to rates for each state’s largest metropolitan regions.
  • The maximum reported daily costs for adult day services are highest in the state of Vermont ($141 daily) and lowest in Montgomery area, Alabama ($27).
  • Rate variances reflect regional cost differences, local demand and pricing practices, services included and differences in state-level reporting requirements.
  • This survey is beneficial in demonstrating the costs associated with long-term care and the need to plan for financing it.

A profile of Older Americans in 2007 from the Administration on Aging of the
US Department of Health & Human Services (PDF)

Caring From A Distance provides information and sources of help for caregivers who are caring from a distance.

Relationship by Household Type for the Population Under 18 Years from the
Department of Health & Human Services’ Agency on Aging.

US Census Bureau provides information on Grandparents in the US (1998.)

AOA ~ Administration on Aging – Elders and Families is designed to assist older persons and their caregivers quickly obtain information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics. The information will help you become more familiar with issues affecting older adults, and the services and opportunities available to assist them.


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