Vero Beach, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $173 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. In total, Florida was awarded $340 million by USDA to support Florida’s citrus industry, and with today’s announcement, the state has approved payments for more than half of that allocation.
“Florida is proud to have the best citrus produce in the world,” said Governor DeSantis. “Since January, we’ve been dedicating resources and improving policies to make sure Florida’s citrus industry gets back on its feet, and today, we’ve surpassed the 50 percent milestone for this important funding. For citrus growers still suffering from Hurricane Irma, know this – we are providing recovery funding as quickly as possible, and we will not waiver in our support.”
“It is absolutely vital that we support Florida’s citrus industry after the devastating impact that Hurricane Irma had on groves across the state,” said FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz. “I’m proud that we’ve been able to renew our focus on this effort and that so far in this administration, we have already awarded more than half of Florida’s citrus grant. At the division we will continue to provide staff and resources to support the citrus recovery program until every penny has been paid out.”
The Citrus Recovery Block Grant is a $340 million federal grant administered by FDEM to assist citrus producers who maintain active citrus farming operations and suffered citrus crop damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to assist citrus growers in navigating the grant process. The Governor announced surpassing this milestone while delivering remarks at a major grapefruit planting in Vero Beach.