A number of business, public health and agricultural groups want to increase the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) minimum benefit to $100 a month in New York, according to a letter they sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday.

The letter’s signatories include the Business Council, Instacart, State Association for Rural Health, AARP, American Farmland Trust and the National Supermarket Association.

They want the increase to be included in the state budget, which is due April 1.

“Over 2.8 million New Yorkers participate in SNAP, bringing over $5 billion into our state each year,” the letter reads. “However, New Yorkers who participate saw a significant drop in their monthly benefits last year following the end of Emergency Allotments (EAs). New York households saw an average loss of $151 per month, while some saw their monthly benefits drop to just $23. With food insecurity on the rise, we need to ensure all New Yorkers have the purchasing power to afford healthy food in their communities.”

SNAP sends benefits to a card similar to a debit card which people can use to purchase food. In New York, a single individual, with earned income who is not elderly or disabled, can qualify for SNAP benefits if they make less than $1,823 a month or $21,876 per year. The maximum allotment in New York for a single individual is $291 or $9.70 per day.

The state Senate’s one-house budget proposal included “$50 million to establish the NYS SNAP Minimum-Benefits program, ensuring families receive a minimum benefit of $50 per month.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP benefits were temporarily expanded, however that expanded benefit has expired.

The state Health Department said in a report in January found that approximately one in four adults experience food insecurity.


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