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SNAP benefits: NY lawmakers shop to make case for higher monthly payments to low income households

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  • Staff Report 

Two New York state lawmakers, Senator Rachel May and Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas, made a case for increasing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by taking a shopping trip in Albany. Demonstrating the inadequacy of the current $23 monthly minimum, they could barely afford breakfast items, far from covering a month’s worth of meals. They are advocating for a minimum SNAP benefit increase to $100 per month to better support the state’s vulnerable populations, particularly the elderly living on fixed incomes.


During their shopping experiment, the lawmakers highlighted the stark contrast between what $23 and $100 can buy, emphasizing the significant impact additional funds could have on families’ nutritional options and stress levels. Advocates like Ryan Healy from Feeding New York State also pointed out the potential for improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables, enhancing the overall nutrition of those on SNAP benefits.

The push for increased SNAP benefits is part of a broader effort to address food insecurity and the affordability crisis in New York, with bipartisan support for related measures in the legislature. The Senate’s budget proposal suggests raising the minimum benefit to $50, a step that both May and González-Rojas see as progress towards their $100 goal. This initiative reflects the growing concern over rising living costs and the importance of ensuring no New Yorker has to choose between food and other essential expenses.