New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a plan to expand SNAP benefits to include prepared foods and restaurants.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) currently does not allow participants to use their benefits.  The new law will help the homeless, elderly and disabled SNAP recipients in getting nutritious restaurant or hot foods while the restaurants will benefit by being subsidized for these meals.

The legislation (S.64/A.1524) establishes a statewide Restaurant Meals Program as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The legislation mandates the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to apply for USDA approval to authorize the program, which would allow homeless, elderly and disabled SNAP recipients to use their benefits for prepared or hot food from participating restaurants. Governor Hochul signed this legislation at the Brownsville Recreation Center in Brooklyn, NY on October 4.

The Governor also announced the launch of the $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program to provide relief to the restaurant industry, which continues to face severe challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, proposed by the legislature, will build on the successful Nourish New York initiative. It will provide funding to New York's network of food banks and emergency food providers to purchase prepared meals from New York restaurants and deliver them to families in need.

"It's unconscionable that in a state as prosperous as New York, many residents still struggle to get enough food to feed their families," Governor Hochul said. "The vital actions we're taking—establishing two restaurant programs to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers feed themselves and help restaurants recover from this terrible pandemic—will work in tandem to put food on the table in homes across the state. This pandemic continues to impact the wallets and homes of a vast number of New Yorkers, and we're taking any and all actions to help them support themselves and their loved ones."

For more on this new legislation CLICK HERE.

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