The federally-funded Pandemic-EBT plan for New York State has been approved by the USDA.
The plan will provide an estimated $880 million to households of 2.1 million low and middle-income children. This is according to New York State officials.
In response, Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide direct service and advocacy organization based in New York, released the following statement:
“An extra $880 million to help fill the grocery carts of struggling families with kids is a big, big deal. P-EBT was authorized by the Families First COVID-19 response bill, which was championed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The P-EBT program is vital to ensure that parents are able to afford food for their children while schools are closed. Though many school districts are working hard to provide some meals for pick up or delivery, they are only scratching the surface of the need.
Pandemic-EBT benefits will be a game-changer by guaranteeing that all children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals get some food during this time. By providing families with funding on ATM-like cards that covers the cost of school breakfasts and lunches at $5.25 per child per day, this program will allow parents to purchase food appropriate for their children at grocery and other food stores. It will also allow middle-income and immigrant families who may not qualify for SNAP benefits to receive sufficient funds to feed their kids while dealing with the economic fallout of the pandemic.
This funding will also help keep food stores in business and food workers employed. Hunger Free America congratulates Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and is ready and willing to work with the state on the rollout of this essential program. I especially want to thank the career civil servants in government in charge of this.
While our society rightfully heralds the work of charity workers in tough times like this, I think we need to be equally appreciative of the public sector working for our collective benefit.”
Hunger Free America. Hunger Free AmericaTM (formerly known as the New York City Coalition Against Hunger) is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food. https://www.hungerfreeamerica.org/
Photo credit: Hunger Free America via source.