As grocery costs soar, NY beefs up food assistance to needy

CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) – Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a $234 million boost in food assistance for the rest of the month of June.

That means those on SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, can receive the maximum level of food benefits based on their individual situation.

Those already receiving the maximum will also get an additional boost.

However, some people are still resorting to food pantries

“So if they have food stamps and they just can’t make it, they’re like the price of gas has gone up so much that I need that extra help. Food stamps only cover half of the groceries,” said VEM Food Pantry management volunteer Angela Sixberry.

She says she’s seen traffic pick up at the pantry. Families of 1 to 10 come in on a regular basis to pick out groceries, but also other household goods.

“People are looking for non-food items that you cannot get on food stamps, but they also come in for all the other food because there are people that don’t get food stamps because they don’t qualify,” she said.

The food pantry works on a point system based on family size. For instance, a family of 4 gets 14 points, which can be enough to get some meat, canned goods, and pasta.

Sixberry says volunteers at the pantry help families prepare meals. This makes it easier for families to choose their food items.

But, some say with food prices rising, it can get difficult for families with big households.

“People with children and stuff like that, they have to pay day care and stuff plus they have to pay high food prices and high gas prices in order to just survive,” said Mariam Paddock, retired resident.

To see what your eligible for through SNAP, click here.

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