New York offers food and cash assistance programs, but more and more residents are seeking out the help after the pandemic and inflation upended their lives.
The spike in requests for help haven’t been this high in years. In addition to the regular programs, many have been expanded with pandemic assistance. All of these combined have kept families above water for the last two years.
According to the Times Union, Albany County Department of Social Services Commissioner Michele McClave explained that the number of people applying for benefits this fall are higher than ever. While many aren’t eligible, they feel that they’re struggling enough to seek out the help.
In September 536,019 residents received temporary cash assistance. The last time numbers were this high was in March of 2018. The same is happening with food stamps, or SNAP benefits, with numbers reaching new levels in the spring and summer. 2.85 million New Yorkers received SNAP in September. This was lower than between March and August, when 2.87 million residents received SNAP benefits.
Temporary cash assistance requests have increased sharply, while food stamp requests have risen slowly compared to this time last year.
Local food pantries are also seeing a higher demand at the local levels. Now that COVID-19 programs have ended, people are struggling even more.
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