Benefits for roughly 2 million New Yorkers who receive food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be cut this month. A family of four stands to lose $36 per month in benefits.
These cuts come at a devastating time. In The Unheard Third 2013, or most recent annual survey of low-income New York City residents, we find that poor families are finding it harder and harder to meet basic needs. Between 2012 and 2013, the proportion of survey respondents from poor households with children who went hungry because of a lack of money for food rose from 23 percent to 30 percent. The share of these households experiencing three or more serious hardships rose by eight percentage points, from 59 percent in 2012 to 67 percent in 2013.
In an article in today’s New York Daily News, CSS’s Nancy Rankin notes that that the loss of monthly benefits won’t just burden families who rely on SNAP. Economists estimate that each dollar in food stamps generates another $1.70 or more in economic stimulus because the money is immediately spent at local grocers.