BROOKLYN, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation Monday to help New York’s homeless, disabled veterans, and elderly SNAP recipients to purchase prepared meals.
The new law creates a statewide restaurant meals program where some SNAP recipients can use their benefits at participating restaurants.
The governor also announced the launch of a $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program to provide relief to the industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials from the governor’s office say the program builds on the Nourish New York initiative, and will provide funding to food banks and emergency food providers to provides prepared meals from restaurants and deliver them to families in need.
Businesses can apply online for funding from the new resiliency program.
“It’s unconscionable that in a state as prosperous as New York, many residents still struggle to get enough food to feed their families,” Gov. 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.”
Officials from the governor’s office say prior to the signing of this legislation, SNAP recipients in New York State could not use their benefits to purchase prepared goods, preventing many that do not have access to cooking or food preparation on their own from using SNAP benefits. This primarily affects the homeless, disabled and elderly populations, officials say.
Emergency food providers will work directly with restaurants who are deemed eligible for the program by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
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