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Overview of Protocol
**Update: There is still an issue with asking multiple counties due to zip codes that span counties. we are working on a permanent fix, but you can turn off the survey question by clicking the red minus button by Surveys/Series under the Marker section.
**Have repeated county requests occurring? The automated query that repeatedly asks “what County are you in” can be manually canceled or manually completed on behalf of end user with the “surveys and serious” tools on the right side of the conversation, if you have a string where it is being repeated. Note: It appears to occur when there are two counties to select from and the respondent types the name vs. choosing a number. We are working on resolving the issue.
As usual, when a client texts the platform, it will automatically ask for their zip code
If the client is in a Florida county/zip code and requests food assistance (or related terms) or mentions the FDACS distribution program, verify the county they are in and Use http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Nutrition-and-Wellness/HurricaneFoodPackages to determine if their county is currently activated as part of the program (Ctrl + F will work best!)
- If it is: Share with them the name, location, and phone number of the distribution site/agency and encourage them to call ahead before going to make sure food packages are still available. If they are in a county covered but there are no available sites, recommend they can check back by texting or visiting the site. Then see below for additional referrals to offer.
- If it is not: Let them know their county does not yet have the program but that they can check back by texting in again or visiting the website tomorrow and later in the week. Recommend they call 2-1-1 and provide the local 800 number if they are in urgent need of food. Then see below for additional referrals to offer.
- If they still need food options: Use the food locator resource website https://irma.211ct.org/fdacs-map/
Food for Florida (Disaster SNAP for Florida) is now available in some counties. First, visit the irma.211ct.org/florida page for general information on the program. Then visit the appropriate county page for specific date and location information.
In all cases, remind folks to also apply for FEMA financial assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov
If the client needs assistance with transportation, childcare, or other local resources both related and unrelated to accessing the food distribution, recommend they call their local 2-1-1
Other Useful Tips
- Ask if people have internet resources before offering links. If possible, provide the direct information for the food sites via text.
- When someone texts from one of the county’s where food distribution is available and asks about misc resources, proactively provide that referral even if not explicitly asked for.
- Before jumping immediately to offering the local 2-1-1, offer a resource such as FEMA.
See below for guidance regarding D-SNAP (aka Food for Florida) vs. SNAP:
- D-SNAP (Food for Florida): Food for Florida is the name of Florida’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). The benefits are for applicants NOT current receiving SNAP. There are requirements for the program based on location, income and assets. Details and counties where the program is open can be found here: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/access/fff/ DSNAP FAQ: http://www.myflfamilies.com/press-release/dcf-provides-guidance-those-applying-disaster-snap
- SNAP Mass Replacement for Current SNAP Recipients: The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) is processing a mass replacement for 40% of SNAP benefits to SNAP customers approved as of Sept 10. Benefits could be available on EBT cards as soon as Sept 22. With mass replacement, customers DO NOT have to submit an individual replacement request.Current food assistance customers are not eligible for Food for Florida. Current food assistance customers will get additional September/October benefits added to their EBT card within 5 days of the county opening the Food for Florida site. Current food assistance customers SHOULD NOT go to the Food for Florida disaster sites or apply on line (pre-register) for Food for Florida.The timeframe has been extended for SNAP customers to purchase hot foods with their EBT card at participating retailers. Customers should inquire first if the store is equipped to process hot food purchases. This service is now available through October 30th.
Wrapping Up a Text
- Please find a closing from the canned list or craft your own for each text so we have consistency in closing the loop with people.
- Also, note that there are canned “empathy” responses which may be appropriate to use as well.
- Please don’t close the exchange until complete.
Technical Details: Canned Responses and Data Markers
- There is a new category of Canned Responses for the FDACS program which contains a variety of responses for the above scenarios. Please use these as much as possible to ensure consistency and efficiency of our responses.
- Please use the data markers feature, located on the right hand side (about halfway down) of the text conversation and click on the FL FDACS Food Distribution Program for those referrals. Please tag them as such before you close each conversation. We’d also love for you to tag non-FDACS conversations with the appropriate label, but that’s less of a priority.
- Please add yourself to the doodle schedule which is where you can sign up for shifts. (During the day, we’d like to have 3 people per shift if possible.) https://beta.doodle.com/poll/t6vufag9agfgs8up#table
Tips for Responses to Difficult Cases
(Special thanks to Caree Jewell from the Heart of Florida United Way for the following:)
Here are some helpful scripts/words of encouragement that can be used for individuals who are presenting as frustrated/emotional. All of this falls under the skills of empathetic active listening. This is all about helping the person feel heard and understood, especially if there are no options.
- “I see you have tried x,y and Z and you feel ___________ that no one can assist”
Or if there are no resources available:
- “It sounds like you have worked hard and have reached out to all the social service/government resources and no one can assist with ____________. You have probably already tried this but have you asked your employer to see if they allow pay day advances, coworkers, friends, family or your place of worship to see if anyone in your personal network can help with _____________________.
When people have tried everything and there may not be other options at that point, be honest and say something like:
- “Unfortunately we have no other options that may help with _______________” Then we deal with the feelings that can bring forward like the system being broken, no one caring about them etc. Basic feeling reflection and paraphrasing
Quality and Customer Service Reminders:
- Take the time to read the whole string of texts before responding since sometimes the boxes come in an order that requires a thorough review to be sure you are answering the texters need/question
- Go slow to avoid typos and ensure quality customer service
- If you don’t know an answer, please don’t guess. Refer the texter to their 2-1-1 and put the question in the chat box or email Liesl