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Deadline looming for Palm Beach County residents to activate food-assistance debit cards

'We want you to use the cards,' county administrator says ahead of Wednesday deadline
CARES Act debit food card example provided by Palm Beach County
Posted at 4:41 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 16:49:35-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Some Palm Beach County residents have just over 48 hours to activate their CARES Act-funded pre-paid debit food card.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker wants to remind recipients that Wednesday is the deadline to activate the cards.

She said cards not activated by the end of this month will expire and the funds will be swept and redirected.

"We want you to use the cards, we really do, but come deadline, we are going to deactivate those cards," Baker said.

New numbers from the county obtained by Contact 5 show 160 of the cards, valued at more than $86,000, are still not activated. That's progress since Contact 5's last report, more than a week ago, found about 300 unused cards.

'We want you to use the cards, we really do, but come deadline, we are going to deactivate those cards,' Verdenia Baker says
"We want you to use the cards, we really do, but come deadline, we are going to deactivate those cards," Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker says of the pre-paid debit food cards some residents still haven't activated.

"Thanks to the press, thanks to you and your story, people realized that they needed to activate the cards, and so they did," Baker said.

Contact 5 recently spoke with Debra Tendrich, founder of Eat Better Live Better, as she delivered healthy groceries to neighbors impacted by the pandemic.

"We wanted to be one of the solutions to the food crisis here in Palm Beach County," she said.

Tendrich shared her story with WPTV and how neighbors who received the cards allowed her nonprofit to grow and reach more in need.

"It did give us the capacity of expand our footprint and assist new families that haven't been served by us yet," Tendrich said.

According to information from Palm Beach County, more than $700,000 of the original $14 million remains unspent on cards.

If you lost your card or have questions, you're being urged contact Palm Beach County Community Services at (561) 355-4792.

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