Nearly 750,000 families in the state of New York are now eligible for receiving food stamps. Governor Cuomo decided to extend access to benefits, by changing the rules of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Gov. Cuomo wants families who make less than $2,512 on the total in a month, to receive benefits from SNAP. He raised the income threshold from $2,177 or less to $2,512 or less. His expansion means that the state will receive an extra $688 million in federal benefits, yearly.
About 3 million New York residents receive food assistance. Cuomo believes that it’s unacceptable for anyone in the state of New York t go hungry and that the move is a step forward to ending hunger in the state.
So, corner stores may have to bring in more good foods, like broccoli and mangos, instead of alcoholic beverages and Cheetos. All sellers that accept federal money in exchange for food stamps will have to come up with healthier food, or leave the program.
The plan of the SNAP is to make healthier food more available to low-income people. The program came under scrutiny from many business owners and legislators. They believe that the changes would burden small stores, pharmacies and corner stores. These measures could lead these types of stores to withdraw from the program, resulting in less access to nutritious food.
All over the States, vulnerable categories of people receive food stamps. These changes would affect them first-hand. Here’s what some of these people had to say:
Lee Smith, a 28-year-old diabetic said he welcome the idea of healthy food at the corner store. His three year old daughter was recently introduced to mangoes and herbs. He went on to say that people would try the healthy alternatives.
He also believes that if people got more healthy options in local neighborhood stores, they could eat better and live longer.
Research has shown that healthy food is missing in many poorer communities. African-American communities are less likely to have fresh vegetables or fruit. Other such areas are southern and western suburbs, which have limited options when it comes to healthy foods.
Overall, most people believe it’s a good idea to have more options and that the measures will slash childhood obesity and increase equity.
Image Source –Wikipedia