*Update February 18, 2019
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all SNAP recipients will receive March benefits about 1 week earlier than scheduled, and no later than March 7. Benefits in New York City will be issued during the first 7 days of March (see OTDA memo). Benefits in upstate NY will be issued on March 1 (see OTDA memo). The early release is intended to ease the burden on recipients that have been forced to stretch February’s benefits for more than six weeks because of the recent unprecedented shutdown of the federal government.
The Governor has also extended the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Food Drive, which was set to conclude this week. Recognizing the increased strain on food banks and pantries, the Governor extended the food drive through the end of March to help state agencies collect additional food during a critical time for local banks and pantries. Read the press release for additional details on how to contribute to this effort.
*Update February 7, 2019
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a report on the impacts that the recent Federal Government shutdown continues to have on SNAP. The timing of February SNAP benefit issuance (January 17th) creates a much longer than usual gap between February and March benefits and will cause some households to face more difficulties affording food, as they await their March benefits. In turn, this will place additional strain on the food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens. and other community resources, which already are stretched. March benefits would normally be paid over the first two weeks of March, creating a gap of almost 50 days for some households.
USDA has confirmed in this Q&A document that the continuing resolution signed by the President on January 25 provides for full funding of SNAP benefits as well as State administrative costs through March. However, as noted above, the gap between February and March benefits may leave many households without adequate food resources. Therefore, on Feb 1, USDA notified states that they may issue March benefits early. New York has not yet announced how it will respond.
Also, the Food Bank for New York City released a research brief: In the Shadow of the Shutdown, to illuminate the impact of the shutdown on New York City’s emergency food providers.
*Update January 30, 2019
USDA has issued a flyer as a reminder for clients and retailers of how SNAP benefits are being managed for February.
*Update January 25, 2019, as of 3:00 pm
This afternoon President Trump announced a deal to reopen, for three weeks, USDA and other parts of the federal government that have been shut down since late December. Under the agreement, Congress will pass a temporary spending bill that the President says he will sign. This deal gives the Administration and Congress to February 15 to negotiate a longer-term funding deal for FY 2019.
As of January 17th, nearly all SNAP recipients in NYS received their February monthly benefit. It is important to remind recipients that these funds should be carefully budgeted to last as long through the month of February as possible. Even with the government shutdown ending and SNAP benefits are restored to their normal disbursement schedule, no additional benefits will be given in February. Please use the NYS outreach posters in English and Spanish to help educate SNAP recipients.
*Update January 25, 2019 –
Here are a few updates related to the ongoing federal government shutdown and it’s impact on nutrition assistance programs:
Governor Cuomo has called upon the NYS Education Department to ensure that students from households affected by the shutdown have access to free school meals. This applies to children of federal employees as well as children who rely on federal benefits that may be delayed because of the shutdown.
According to the Governor’s release, the USDA has informed State Child Nutrition Offices that the free school lunch and breakfast program has funds to continue through March.
Similarly, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in New York State is not immediately impacted by the shutdown. If the shutdown persists and any action is required, WIC providers, participants, and WIC-authorized stores will be notified in advance.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a new report about the impact of the shutdown on SNAP benefits. Even if the shutdown is resolved in time for the government to provide full March SNAP benefits on time, the much longer than usual gap between benefit receipt for February and March will cause some households to face heightened difficulties affording food, as they await their March benefits. In turn, this will place additional strain on the emergency food network and other community resources, which already are stretched. February benefits were paid on January 17th in New York State; March benefits would normally be paid over the first two weeks of March, creating a gap of almost 50 days for some households.
*Update January 18, 2019 –
As of January 17th, nearly all SNAP recipients in NYS received their February monthly benefit. It is important to remind recipients that these funds should be carefully budgeted to last as long through the month of February as possible. Even if the federal government shutdown ends and SNAP benefits are restored to their normal disbursement schedule, no additional benefits will be given in February. Please use the NYS outreach posters in English and Spanish to help educate SNAP recipients.
Some SNAP retailers are unable to accept SNAP due to a delay in processing heir EBT renewals with USDA. This affects about 2,500 stores nationwide but it is unclear how many in NY are affected.
*Update January 15, 2019 –
OTDA has also released a poster in English and Spanish that local districts outside of NYC are required to post (the poster is page 2 of the notice). A NYC poster is forthcoming. Please use this poster to help clients understand the change in the timing of February SNAP benefits.
Our latest email update contains a summary of how February SNAP benefits are being issued in NY State.
*Update January 14, 2019 –
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- New York State has taken the necessary steps to ensure that February recurring SNAP benefits will be issued to all SNAP recipients in New York State by January 20.
- It is important that SNAP recipients understand that the January 20 benefit is not a bonus or extra payment, it is the early issuance of the February benefit and therefore they must plan and budget accordingly. If you work with populations receiving SNAP benefits, stay tuned for a public awareness campaign and education materials to educate on this.
- Households that require re-certification for February should complete all steps by January 15th (depending on county) to be assured February benefits.
- At this time, there is no further information about March benefits; we will await further guidance from USDA.
*Update: January 9, 2019 –
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Millions of New Yorkers who depend on SNAP benefits will receive benefits through February. The USDA is asking states to issue benefits on Jan. 20, earlier than usual, to take advantage of a temporary funding measure.
Special Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC)
- The federal shutdown will not have an immediate impact on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. If the shutdown persists and any action is required, WIC providers, participants, and WIC-authorized stores will be notified in advance.
Child Nutrition Programs
- FNS has provided State Agencies with additional available appropriated funding. These funds, along with those previously provided, can support program operations at normal levels well into March. The Child Nutrition Programs include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and State Administrative Expenses.
*Update: December 22, 2018
At midnight on December 22nd, Congress and the President had failed to pass a continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government leading to a partial government shutdown. However, because of funds available to federal and state agencies, federal nutrition programs would continue to operate for the time being.
1 in 8 New Yorkers struggle with food insecurity, and fortunately, many of these individuals will continue to be eligible for and receive:
• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP)
• Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
• The child nutrition programs such as school meals and afterschool meals.
Hunger Solutions New York will continue to monitor the situation and work with our state and national partners to notify you of any developments.
We will continue to update this information as it becomes available to us.