Before the coronavirus pandemic, New York State would have spent money on keeping school cafeterias running. Since schools are shuttered, the state is giving what would have been lunch money to all families whose kids attend public school. Families will automatically receive $420 per child.
Here’s how the funds will be distributed, per Manhattan borough President Gale Brewer’s newsletter:
If you are on SNAP and cash assistance: You should have received an additional $193 deposited to your EBT card on May 19. The remainder, $227, will be deposited on June 16.
If you are on Medicaid only: You will receive the full $420 amount per child during the last two weeks in June.
If you are not on any assistance or benefits program: you will be mailed a $420 EBT card this summer from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
When COVID-19 hit, it uncovered dysfunctions about the food system. Before the pandemic, one in eight New Yorkers could not afford enough food. In New York City alone, of 1.1 million public school kids, 74% qualified for free or reduced-price meals.
Thankfully, Mayor de Blasio’s grab-and-go program was put in place to help fill these gaps.
But people are still learning about what the pandemic has revealed about the flaws within our food system. To learn more, watch Brewer’s virtual town hall that she hosted this week precisely about this complex topic.