Albany, NY – May 2, 2023 – Feeding New York State – the state association of New York’s 10 Feeding America member food banks – applauds state leaders for negotiating a budget that includes critical investments to address hunger, poverty, and food insecurity. In particular, we’d like to recognize our champions in the legislature for consistently standing up for our most vulnerable families.
Since last year’s fiscal budget passed in April of 2022, New York families have been hit hard by the expiration of key federal relief measures coinciding with the decades-high rise in food prices. Over 726,000 students lost access to no-cost school meals at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. And back in March, the nearly 3 million New Yorkers who rely on SNAP to afford groceries saw a significant decrease in monthly benefits.
In light of these ongoing challenges, we’d like to highlight some important investments agreed upon by leaders in Albany. Such provisions include:
$134M to expand no-cost school meals for New York students
$57M for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP)
$50M for Nourish New York
An additional $2M for the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP)
Higher minimum wages and future increases tied to the inflation rate
By expanding no-cost school meals, increasing pay for low-income workers, and fully supporting the state’s emergency food system, New York has passed a budget that will improve food security for families struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, we acknowledge that this is not enough. Far too many New Yorkers are struggling to afford basic necessities in a state with tremendous wealth and resources.
It is the view of our association that New York State must take the lead in the fight against hunger and poverty. Looking forward, we call on Governor Hochul and state lawmakers to build a state in which healthy food is guaranteed to all as a basic human right.