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Meng Announces She Helped Secure Pandemic Emergency Food Assistance For New York Families

Jun 26, 2020
Press Release
Families with school age children could receive up to $420 per child in emergency food benefits

QUEENS, NY – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) issued the following statement to ensure all households with children in Queens receive critical food benefits during COVID-19. The Congresswoman helped pass legislation into law to ensure no child goes hungry during the national health crisis. On May 1, Meng also called on the Trump administration to approve New York’s application to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.

“Children’s health and safety must be at the forefront of our efforts to combat COVID-19, and I’m pleased that New York’s plan to ensure all kids have food during the national health crisis was approved,” said Meng. “The additional money will provide ease of mind for many families. There is no application process for this money and it will be provided regardless of immigration status. No child should go hungry and this additional food benefit will help many over the summer.”

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127) permits temporary food benefits under the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program for households with children who would have received free or reduced-price school meals.

On May 1, Meng, along with State Senator Roxanne Persaud (D-Brooklyn), Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi (D-Queens) and Council Member Karen Koslowitz (D-Queens), led 94 New York Elected Officials from Congress, the State Legislature and City Council in letter to President Trump calling for more funding for critical safety net programs for New York. One of the priorities in the letter included approval of New York State’s plan to operate P-EBT.

The P-EBT program provides free breakfast and lunch benefits to any child who was previously receiving free or reduced lunch through their schools. Every New York City student attending a public school will receive $420 to cover all the missed days of school from March 13 to June 25. Students who attend a private, charter, or parochial school and receive free or reduced lunch will receive P-EBT.

Parents of students who receive SNAP benefits may have already seen this money loaded onto their EBT cards. Families who currently do not receive any cash assistance should expect a debit card to arrive in the next few months with the money pre-loaded. This money can be used on any food that is already SNAP-eligible.

The Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved New York State’s plan to operate the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program last month.  

New York State estimates nearly 1.3 million households will benefit under the P-EBT program.

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