A flyer in Shoprite warns food stamp recipients that February funds will be issued in January

© Jeanne Kuang/The News Journal

Hungry New Yorkers Still Suffering Effects Of Shutdown

February 22, 2019 - 11:25 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The partial government shutdown may have ended, but it’s still having an impact on over a million New Yorkers who rely on food stamps.

Veyom Bahl, director of survival at the Robin Hood Foundation, says the shutdown created a significant gap in the period of time in which the needy are able to access their SNAP benefits.

The foundation estimates that 70 percent of the 1.5 million SNAP beneficiaries in the five boroughs have run out of money to buy food.

“We’re not nearing a crisis,” said Bahl, “we’re in a crisis.”

Soup kitchens and food pantries are struggling to meet demand.

After the foundation funded a promotion to allow beneficiaries to order meals free of charge, “within the first seventy two hours of it being live, families ordered more than three thousand five hundred bags,” said Bahl.

To help relieve the situation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is promising that SNAP recipients will receive their monthly benefits by March 7, nearly a week early.