Local food banks seek to help as extra SNAP benefits set to expire
Extra SNAP benefit assistance is set to expire at the end of the month even as inflation is hitting Long Islanders hard.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be knocked down to pre-pandemic levels of assistance.
Long Island Cares CEO Paul Pachter says this will make it even harder for people to feed themselves and their families
On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the freeing up of $234 million in additional food assistance for January.
Those who received SNAP benefits during the pandemic up until now were either getting an extra $95 a month or benefits of up to the maximum amount for the size of the household.
Because of a congressional spending package ending, the emergency assistance is ending.
Pachter says this is not only an economic issue.
"This has the potential to become a health issue, more people are going to have less resources to feed themselves and therefore they're going to try to stretch their dollars," Pachter says.
He says that could mean settling for inexpensive food with few health benefits.
The Long Island Cares CEO also says that the people who receive SNAP benefits also rely on food bank services.
He says around a third of the people that come to pantries receive SNAP benefits.
Pachter says there are likely many others who are eligible for benefits that don't realize it.
Long Island Cares and its partners are continuing to work to distribute information at their pantries about signing up for SNAP.