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During the final days of the scheduled legislative session, the New York State Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein which will make it more convenient for families with two heads-of-household to use their SNAP benefits. The bill (S8972-A/A9749-B) requires that two electronic SNAP benefit cards be made available to households in which more than one parent or guardian resides on a full-time basis.

Families that live in poverty depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for their sustenance. Funds are made available to them through transfer or debit cards. This legislation will make it easier and more convenient for SNAP participants to purchase necessary provisions by allowing both heads of household to use the card and utilize the benefits. Cards will continue to be issued to adults only and the second card will not entitle recipients to additional benefits.

“I’m proud to be sponsoring legislation as commonsense and as necessary as bill S8972A along with my colleague Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein. With all the pressures families are facing, legislation is needed to address real needs in our marginalized underserved communities. This is one of those needs. Making sure all the parents in the home can have access to their approved benefits at a moment’s notice and not have to treat one card like a relay race baton. SNAP is a federal program that helps 40 million Americans every year and 1.8 million of those are New Yorkers. This is a pragmatic move and I thank every legislator that supports this bill.” said State Senator Julia Salazar

“Families who receive SNAP benefits are already struggling to make ends meet and are living under constant pressure to feed their children,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “This legislation ensures that recipients will no longer have to endure the inconvenience of having two heads of household sharing just one card. It is a simple, effective and practical solution to a frustrating problem. I thank Senator Salazar for sponsoring this legislation in the Senate and to my fellow Assembly colleagues for supporting our legislation.”

“This common-sense legislation will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. Met Council enrolls over a thousand New Yorkers each month for SNAP. These are our friends and neighbors who deserve the same respect and dignity as every single New Yorker. Thank you Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Senator Julia Salazar for helping those in need.” said David G. Greenfield, CEO, Met Council on Jewish Poverty

“Millions of New Yorkers depend on SNAP. Thank you Senator Salazar and Assemblyman Eichenstein for passing legislation to ensure that SNAP recipients can easily purchase food, with both head of households possessing cards to shop,” said Rabbi David Niederman, President of the UJO of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. “An additional card, is a no-brainer, but for too long the attitude was that they should take what they get, and shouldn’t be choosy. Thank you for making the statement that the disadvantaged also deserve a user-friendly, dignified system to utilize their benefits.”

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Avrumy Schwartz

Author Avrumy Schwartz

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