Some people who receive SNAP benefits in New York can now use them to buy food from restaurants. Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation approving the use of food stamp benefits by the homeless, elderly, and disabled to buy hot, prepared meals. The statewide Restaurant Meals Program will help people who struggle with food security, according to Gov. Hochul,

"It's unconscionable that in a state as prosperous as New York, many residents still struggle to get enough food to feed their families. The vital actions we're taking—establishing two restaurant programs to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers feed themselves and help restaurants recover from this terrible pandemic—will work in tandem to put food on the table in homes across the state. This pandemic continues to impact the wallets and homes of a vast number of New Yorkers, and we're taking any and all actions to help them support themselves and their loved ones."

She also announced the launch of the $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program, which will help New York restaurants that have been hit hard financially by the pandemic. The program will allow food banks and emergency food providers to buy meals from New York restaurants to give to families in need. Restaurants can apply here.

New Yorkers Will Soon See An Increase in Monthly SNAP Benefits

New York State residents who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see an increase in their monthly benefits. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that a federal cost adjustment is behind the increase. The average increase in benefits for families and individuals who get benefits will be around $36 per person.

Gov. Hochul spoke about the need for the rise in benefits to offset the increase in food costs,

"Now more than ever, New Yorkers are seeing their money for food stretched thinner and thinner, which in turn forces them into making food choices that are cheaper, but far less nutritious. This long-overdue increase in benefits will give households across New York State the purchasing power to buy nutritious foods, which in turn will ultimately result in healthier outcomes."

A family of four will receive an increase of $155, from $680 to $835. The increase will bring approximately $1.4 billion in additional federal monies to New York in the federal fiscal year 2022.

Roughly 2.8 million people throughout New York State were enrolled in SNAP as of July. SNAP benefits also help to stimulate the local and state economy, according to federal estimates, with every dollar of SNAP benefits spent resulting in roughly $1.59 in economic activity. ~ Governor's website

If you do not currently receive SNAP benefits, but would like to, you can contact the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which oversees the program in the state.

In order to be eligible for SNAP, you and your family must meet the following income criteria:

1 person $1,383 (Monthly Gross Income) / $16,596 (Annual Gross Income)
2 people $1,868 (Monthly Gross Income) / $22,416 (Annual Gross Income)
3 people $2,353 (Monthly Gross Income) / $28,236 (Annual Gross Income)
4 people $2,839 (Monthly Gross Income) / $34,068 (Annual Gross Income)
5 people $3,324 (Monthly Gross Income) / $39,888 (Annual Gross Income)

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