Major food retailers in Upstate New York, including Price Chopper and Tops Friendly Markets, along with health advocates, are urging Governor Kathy Hochul to increase SNAP benefits to address food insecurity. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides financial aid for food purchases to low-income individuals and families. In New York, the current maximum SNAP allotment for a single person is $291 monthly, or about $9.70 per day.
State data reveals that approximately one in four adults in New York face food insecurity, with higher rates in certain counties. This concern is echoed nationwide, as recent USDA research indicates that one in five children in the U.S. also experience food insecurity. The advocated increase, proposed in legislation by Senator Rachel May and Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, aims to set a minimum monthly SNAP benefit of $100.
The push for this increase follows the expiration of temporary expanded SNAP benefits introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. This expiration resulted in a significant reduction in aid for many recipients, with some seeing their benefits drop to a minimum of $23 monthly. The proposed expansion is seen as crucial for ensuring basic food security and stimulating local economies.
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