Increasing SNAP benefits will help New Yorkers, boost the economy amidst coronavirus crisis

The Island Now

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the best tools our nation has to combat the coronavirus, a crisis that has hit New York harder than any other state in the nation.

Prior to this pandemic, more than 2.2 million people in New York struggled with hunger. With jobs and wages lost, this number continues to rise. On top of unimaginable grief and uncertainty, families are shouldering much of the financial burden.

SNAP is good at feeding people while also feeding New York’s economy. The benefit is placed on an electronic card for families to buy food at grocery stores, farmers markets and bodegas. When this money is spent it leads to more jobs, wages and local economic activity in the community.

The best part? This happens almost immediately. The vast majority of families spend their benefits before the month ends because SNAP only supplements food budgets.

I urge Congress to increase SNAP benefits for families across the nation so we can help those in greatest need and give the country the economic stimulus it needs to weather this crisis.

Rachel Sabella
Forest Hills

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