End of extra SNAP assistance creates bigger strain on local food banks
Nearly 100,000 Long Island households are down about $100 a month because of an end to a boost that was given to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) earlier in the pandemic.
The extra assistance was knocked down to pre-pandemic levels at the end of February - making it hard for some Long Islanders to make ends meet.
"We need it back and we need it badly because a lot of people are suffering," says Christina Nieves, of Lindenhurst.
Local food banks are now being strained by the ending of extra SNAP assistance.
Long Island Cares Chief Programs Officer Dr. Jessica Rosati says they have seen nearly 200 new families register in March.
Rosati says many of the people who rely on food pantries are employed. She says a state budget that could include less funding for food bank could create an even bigger strain.
"Unfortunately, what we're seeing now are cuts to those programs and when cuts to those programs happen, it puts a little bit more challenge onto the providers in order to meet that need," Rosati says.
A little over 4,000 people have been served so far this year at the food bank's location in Lindenhurst. That accounts for over 37,000 meals.
In 2022, the pantry served a little over 20,000 people.