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Statement by Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Leslie Gordon on Governor Kathy Hochul’s Announcement of $230 Million in Additional Food Assistance

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NEW YORK (November 19, 2021) – Food Bank For New York City applauds Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement that all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) will continue to receive the maximum level of benefits throughout the holiday season. Additionally, SNAP households that qualify for the maximum level of benefits will receive a supplemental benefit of $95 per month. This means that all SNAP qualifying households—regardless of income or household size—will receive additional grocery support for themselves and their families, reducing food insecurity as the economic impact of the pandemic continues this holiday season.

Each month, these emergency allotment SNAP benefits bring an additional $230 million of federal funding into the state’s economy, stimulating spending at a time in when many New Yorkers are still struggling against the worst effects of COVID-19. This translates to $140 million in additional emergency SNAP benefits directly to NYC: providing upwards of 34 million meals to our most vulnerable neighbors across the five boroughs while also generating economic activity at grocery stores to help sustain these essential businesses.

SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger for more than 1 million New York City households, putting the power to purchase healthy food right in the hands of those who need it most. At Food Bank, we help thousands of New Yorkers in need navigate the process of applying and re-certifying for SNAP so households can access this vital food resource and put food on the table. We will continue to work with our government and community partners to ensure adjustments to the program that expand access and guarantee its sustainability across the city so that all families have enough to eat.

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Since 1983, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while also raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 800 soup kitchens, food pantries, and campus partners citywide, Food Bank provides nearly 80 million free meals per year to New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put nearly $38 million into the pockets of New Yorkers last year, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 20,000 children, teens, and young adults each year to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts. To learn more about how you can help, please visit Follow us on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC), Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC)


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