All over the country, a law that changed the food stamp benefit and took away money that had been given to the program, causing many to receive around a 5% reduction in their food stamps, but nowhere is this felt more than in New York. In New York, the food stamp decrease means that some people will be hit hard during the holiday season. Those that receive several hundred dollars in food stamps, like families that have multiple children, are going to see a big decrease. Of course, this isn’t just New York. All over the nation, people are seeing a decrease in food stamp benefits. The holiday season is a time for large meals, and families will feel the cut very deeply as they try to provide nice holiday meals for their families.
The Food Bank of New York City, which is the largest such organization in the nation, says that all of the of the cuts that have been made is more than what is being served by all of the area emergency food services combined, this according to Director Triada Stampas. The food stamps benefits that have been cut add up to – for the average New Yorker – what it would cost to purchase a Thanksgiving dinner. Some people think that this has to do with $39 billion that Congress took out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but that’s not true. This is because the money that most people receive are their food stamps is increased due to a boost in SNAP benefits that was part of that recovery act.
The average person in New York will be losing anywhere between $200 and $300 per year that they were able to use to buy food. That may not be a huge amount for some people, but for those that scrimp and save and need that money will probably be forced to skip meals because of the decrease. They simply don’t have as much to spend on food as they used to. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did earmark $4.5 million to be distributed to the food banks so that they can help to cover the decrease in food stamps.