New Law: Unemployed New Yorkers Informed About Food Affordability Programs

September 14, 2023

Today, in a private ceremony, Governor Kathy Hochul signed New York Senate Bill 1902A (S1902A/A1245A) into law.

The bill would mandate that applicants for State unemployment benefits receive information on the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), the latter of which provides nutrition assistance to new mothers and their young children. SNAP and WIC are federal programs that are administered by the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) and used to offset the cost of food for individuals and families.

New York State Senator Cordell Cleare, Chair of the Aging Committee, introduced the Bill in January. “When a New Yorker is facing job insecurity, they need to be provided with information on every resource available to them while they navigate their employment search,” said Senator Cleare. “These federally funded programs were created to prevent food insecurity for millions of Americans. While navigating a job loss and the uncertainty of making ends meet, affording groceries should not be a concern. I appreciate my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting this bill and the Governor for taking a crucial step toward the reduction of food insecurity for all New Yorkers.”

The companion bill, A1245A, was introduced in the New York Assembly by Linda B. Rosenthal, who chairs the Committee on Housing and represents the west side of Manhattan. “Statewide data revealed that between 2019 and 2021, one in ten New York households faced food insecurity,” said Assembly member Rosenthal. “WIC and other programs designed to help families make ends meet are available, but spreading awareness and breaking down the stigma associated with them is key.”

“Under my new law with Senator Cleare, unemployment applicants will be provided with information about the WIC program and how they can apply. With this information, families can continue to put food on the table while they work to get back on their feet.” Assembly member Rosenthal, who chairs the Committee on Housing, represents Manhattan’s west side from 93rd Street to Times Square and parts of Central Park.

Cordell Cleare

Senator Cleare is currently serving in her second term from District 30, representing Central Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), West Harlem, Upper Westside, Morningside Heights, Manhattanville, Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights neighborhoods.  Cleare is one of only two women to hold the seat.

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