Anti-hunger advocates today hailed the National Hunger Awareness Day announcement by the Spitzer Administration that the State would take a number of significant steps to make it easier for all eligible New Yorkers, and particularly low-income working families, to access federal food stamp benefits.
For all food stamps applicants, the State will eliminate the assets cap (currently $2,000 for most families). For working families, the State will enable people to apply for and maintain eligibility for benefits on-line and over the phone rather than be forced to physically visit a government office. The State will also waive finger-printing requirements and reduce reporting requirements for such families.
Said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger: "We are particularly excited that, by eliminating the limit on resources that families can own and still receive food stamp benefits, the State is making it easier for parents to feed their families and at the same time be able to save money to send their kids to college, buy a first home, start a small business, and/or open a retirement account."
(Note: This story was covered by the Albany Times-Union, Associated Press (1, 2), New York Press and WNYC, and in advance by the New York Daily News)