LSNYC, others urge HRA to request Disaster SNAP Approval

November 20, 2012—Legal Services NYC, Empire Justice Center and the Legal Aid Society today wrote to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Robert Doar of the City's Human Resources Administration to strongly urge HRA to seize the opportunity to participate in the Disaster Assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Estimates are that the program could bring in more than $50 million in much needed federal assistance for several hundred thousand New York City households, which will not only help those individuals and families, but will also generate income for many small businesses in and around the areas of the City most affected by Superstorm Sandy. The letter was written on behalf of more than twenty organizations that advocate for low-income and/or vulnerable populations in New York City.

From the letter:

As you are aware, many communities have barely begun to recover from Sandy’s devastation and there is a tremendous need for immediate access to food. D-SNAP would be particularly beneficial to seniors, people with disabilities, the unemployed and hard working families, including immigrants who would not otherwise be eligible for the program. Hunger service providers throughout the City report being stretched to their limits by the additional need for food created by the storm.

The City must act now to take advantage of the opportunity and to lessen the burden being borne by those whose lives were upended by Sandy and the groups striving to support them. People in NYC are suffering enough; D-SNAP would give many the opportunity to at least ensure food on their tables, particularly going into Thanksgiving week.

Westchester County has already submitted its application, which was promptly approved and Westchester County residents are accessing the benefit. Based on our discussions with State and Federal officials, it appears that a request from the City will receive a prompt and positive response. This is a time for action, not delay. We urge you to request D-SNAP approval immediately.

Te view the full letter in PDF, click here.


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