Priority II: Alleviate Hunger by strengthening buying power for New Yorkers to be able to afford food and expand eligibility for government food benefit programs
Strengthen and expand eligibility for government food benefit programs that alleviate hunger by ensuring that benefits reflect the true cost of food for families and are inclusive of all New Yorkers who lack the adequate income and access to safely feed their families.
Because programs like SNAP, WIC, Pandemic EBT, and local NYC initiative like Get the Good Stuff are able to provide greater access to food for low-income New Yorkers so that they can purchase culturally desirable food from the food businesses they prefer when they want. However, more than half of New Yorkers with inadequate income are ineligible for most federal food benefit programs because the use of the federal poverty line to measure needs is far lower than the cost of living in our city.
This means that we must advocate to:
- Expand eligibility to support all New Yorkers who lack the income to afford living in our city, including
- Immigrant communities who may not be eligible for some programs or may feel unsafe accessing government programs;
- Seniors on fixed income;
- Working families with children who incur fixed costs that are not acknowledged in income-based benefit program.
- Ensure that benefits reflect the true cost of food and end the narrative of long lines at emergency food programs when benefits are quickly exhausted.