Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state’s going to be giving $4.5 million to 2,600 emergency food shelters in New York. Most of that aid is landing outside our region, but JCEO of Clinton and Franklin Counties is getting $22,676. The rest of the organizations, some close by, that are receiving aid are listed here in the governor’s press release.
The holidays, and winter more generally, are a time of tremendous demand for emergency food providers. This year, the recent reduction in SNAP benefits (that’s food stamps) is creating extra stress on those providers. Here’s a little more from the press release:
Overall, the number of emergency meals reported for 2013 is trending at approximately 13 percent more than the same time last year, according to data provided to the State’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program. Recent federal cuts to the SNAP program will eliminate a total of $302 million of annual SNAP benefits in New York. This year’s increased demand for emergency food has resulted in emergency food providers struggling to keep their shelves full.
The $4.5 million in grants represent a 15% increase in the State’s funding to food banks and can provide approximately 2.8 million meals. These grants will provide food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries with the immediate resources they need to feed those seeking assistance this holiday season.