Gov. Hochul announces $234 million in additional food aid for May

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Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that all New Yorkers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits in May. All households participating in SNAP — including those who have already reached maximum benefit levels — will receive an additional allocation this month, resulting in approximately $234 million in federal funds injected into the New York State economy.

“As New York continues to rebuild stronger than before, far too many households are struggling with food insecurity,” said Governor Hochul. “By providing the highest level of food grants to those in need, we can help struggling households make ends meet and keep food on the table. This funding will help countless families avoid the heartbreaking prospect of food insecurity as we work together towards a more prosperous future for all New Yorkers.”

The emergency assistance supplement is granted to all households, including those who normally receive the maximum allowable benefit per month from SNAP, a federally funded program overseen by the State Office of Temporary and Disabled Assistance. Those households that are already near or at the maximum benefit level — $835 for a four-person household — will receive an additional payment of at least $95. These funds can also be used to purchase baby food and infant formula.

SNAP households in all counties outside of New York City should receive these additional benefits by May 21. These SNAP households in the five-county region of New York City should receive their benefits by May 28.

In April 2020, OTDA began issuing emergency benefits to SNAP households that receive less than the maximum monthly benefit amount. When New York State’s declaration of emergency ended in June 2021, the agency successfully worked with the federal government to secure the maximum allocation for all SNAP households until the expiration of the federal declaration, which is now expected to be extended through July.

New Yorkers continue to rely heavily on SNAP, with more than 1.6 million homes statewide enrolled in the program in February, a 1 percent increase from the previous month. More than 2.8 million New Yorkers received benefits in February, the most since June 2021.

Office of Temporary Assistance and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said: “No individual or family should question whether they have the resources to put healthy, nutritious food on the table each month. The additional food benefits provided during the public health crisis have played an essential role in alleviating this uncertainty while helping local businesses and retailers recover across our state.”

Senator Chuck Schumer said: “No New Yorker should ever have to worry about where their next meal will come from. That’s why I fought for a historic increase in SNAP during the pandemic through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and again in the American Rescue Plan. We’ve doubled down to provide that extra boost of federal funding to help families in need keep food on the table. SNAP is a lifeline for so many New Yorkers, and I will always fight to provide the federal funding needed to ensure no New Yorker goes hungry or is left behind.”

MP Adriano Espaillat said: “SNAP is the most effective tool we have to fight the hunger epidemic that is sweeping this country and affecting families across our state. I commend Governor Hochul for providing these additional funds to support New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which allows more families to maximize and take full advantage of the benefits of Emergency resources provided through this program to help them stay afloat during our ongoing recovery.”

SNAP’s accomplishments play an important role in New York’s ongoing economic recovery, injecting nearly $1 billion into the state’s economy so far this year. According to a, every $1 invested by SNAP generates up to $1.54 in economic activity Federal study Quantifying the impact of SNAP on the US economy.

These benefits are also an important lifeline for New Yorkers in need. On average, about one in seven New Yorkers — about 14 percent of the state’s population — relied on SNAP services in the past year; More than half of the recipient households were families with children, and about 48 percent were adults over the age of 55 or people with disabilities.

As in previous months, payments will be delivered directly to recipients’ existing Electronic Benefit Transfer accounts and can be accessed using their existing EBT cards. Like the regular SNAP benefits, the additional benefits can be used to purchase groceries at authorized grocery stores. Unused SNAP benefits are automatically rolled over to the following month.

For more information on additional SNAP emergency benefits, including answers to frequently asked questions, here. New Yorkers can verify their eligibility for SNAP and apply online by visiting mybenefits.ny.gov.

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