COVID-19 Policies and Resources

COVID-19 Policies and Resources: Learn more about federal legislation enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has passed legislation to support families during this unprecedented time. Learn more about these policies and how they impact you and your family.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18 and is an important first step to offer immediate relief to families during these difficult times. Food assistance provisions in FFCRA include:

  • A new program called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): P-EBT enables all NYC public school students to receive temporary Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Families will start receiving Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT benefits, this week. No one needs to apply or take any action to receive P-EBT. P-EBT provides all public school children with benefits equal to the amount of missed days of school meals due to school closures. Calculated at approximately $5.80/day, students will receive a total of $420, or $120 for each missed month of school meals. A family’s participation in the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services school meal hubs does not impact their benefits. The benefit can be used in the same manner as SNAP. For any questions on P-EBT, call the P-EBT hotline at 833.452.0096, and find the most up-to-date information on the program and other SNAP provisions.
  • Eliminating proposed time limits on SNAP for adults aged 18 to 49 without dependents or disabilities (also known as the ABAWD rule) for the duration of the disaster response.
  • Allowing schools the flexibility to provide grab-and-go meals to all students and their families. Nearly 450 NYC public school meal sites are distributing meals daily from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Students or their guardians can go to any of these sites to pick up a combined 3 grab-and-go meals to consume offsite. On April 3, the City announced that New Yorkers of all ages and those without students are also able to access meals at any of these locations between 11:30am and 1:30pm. Visit the NYC Department of Education to find out what is on the menu and to locate a school meal site near you.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27 and is another crucial step to support families and mitigate some of the financial impact of COVID-19. Below are highlights from the CARES Act that are important for families to know, and where to find more information:

  • Recovery Tax Rebates: Individuals earning $75,000 or less annually will receive $1,200, and families earning $150,000 or less annually will receive $2,400 from the federal government. Additional families will receive $500 for each child in their household. The rebate phases out by $5 for every $1,000 of reported income. Those who earn over $99,000 for a single filing, or $198,000 for joint filing, are not eligible. No action is required to receive these rebates.
  • Unemployment Benefits: New York State’s standard 26 weeks of unemployment benefits is now extended by an additional 13 to 20 weeks—meaning families can receive up to an additional four months of budget relief during this time of high unemployment. People enrolled in unemployment will receive an additional $600 on each check through July 31, 2020. Contract and gig workers and others who were not previously eligible for unemployment benefits can now participate. Visit NY.gov to learn more and enroll.
  • Additional Support: The CARES Act establishes a 4-month suspension on evictions and late fee penalties, and it grants forgivable loans to small business and nonprofits to cover payroll, benefits, rent, utilities, and other business costs.

We’re encouraged by these federal relief policies and will continue to work with our anti-hunger partners across the city, state, and country to advocate for further legislation that provides more comprehensive support to families and individuals who are struggling to feed themselves during this crisis.