/ Nutrition

Food Assistance Resources

This month, the federal government ended its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in 2020. This means households that receive SNAP will no longer receive the extra boost to their food budget and will go back to their normal benefit amount. While households were receiving two deposits a month under the emergency allotment, they will now receive only one deposit a month, given at the beginning of each month. Meanwhile, grocery prices have gone up about 11% since last year and are expected to rise.

As the end of COVID-era food and nutrition benefits bring a hold to SNAP benefits in 32 states as of March 1, food is medicine programs such as services from God’s Love are bringing resources to the table. Here are some links to food resources and assistance.

Farmers Markets

  • Go to your local farmers market for fresh produce.
  • Buy produce that’s in season for the best value.
  • Visit a year-round market in the winter.
  • Find more Community-Run Farmers Markets or Community-Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs, aka grocery shares) (click “Filter by Category”).
    • Some CSAs allow members to pay weekly and/or on a sliding scale.
  • Fresh Food Box: Customers pay 1 week in advance for a pre-assembled box of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables grown primarily by regional farmers and sourced through GrowNYC Wholesale.
    • A half-priced box is available for customers paying with SNAP.
  • Use SNAP at NYC farmers markets to earn Health Bucks.
    • Health Bucks are $2 coupons good for fruits and vegetables at NYC farmers markets. For every $2 you spend on fruits and vegetables with SNAP, you’ll get $2 in Health Bucks, for up to $10 per day.
  • FMNP: The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides checks to WIC participants and to seniors for the purchase of locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Apply here (the Commodity Supplemental Food Program [CSFP] is in charge of the FMNP) 

Food Programs and Assistance

  • SNAP: “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as ‘food stamps’) provides food assistance for nearly 1.8 million low-income New Yorkers including families, people who are aging and people with disabilities. The program helps families and individuals supplement the cost of their diet with nutritious foods.” 
  • WIC: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) “aims to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.”
  • Get the Good Stuff: If you pay with SNAP, you can get free fruits, vegetables, and beans at participating stores through this program. For every $1 you spend using SNAP on eligible fruits, vegetables and beans, you get a matching $1 (up to $10 per day) that can be used the next time you buy eligible foods.
    • Visit the customer service desk at one of the 6 participating stores to sign up.
  • Healthy Food Packages for Seniors: This program provides healthy food packages to eligible low-income adults age 60 and older. You do not need to be a US citizen to apply.
  • For members of NYC Care at NYC Health + Hospitals: Groceries to Go provides eligible New Yorkers with up to $30 in monthly credits to buy SNAP-eligible foods, for delivery or pickup. (The credits can also be used to pay for service and delivery fees, and tips). Participants get a 50% discount on fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Emergency Food Assistance: Everyone is eligible for emergency food assistance (free food at food pantries and soup kitchens), regardless of your immigration status or how much money you have.
    • Find food pantries and soup kitchens.
    • HIV Food Assistance: Click on “Location Type”, then “Food Pantry – HIV Customers” 
    • LGBTQ Food Assistance: These food pantries and soup kitchens have explicitly self-reported their desire to welcome LGBTQ community members.
    • TEFAP: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income people by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.
      • Contact (go to “New York Office of General Services [TEFAP, USDA-FIS]”). 

We hope you find these resources helpful!

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