Foodlink released the following statement after Gov. Kathy Hochul released her executive budget proposal in January:
Governor Hochul recently unveiled her FY25 NY Executive Budget proposal, presenting significant cuts to crucial funding for the emergency food network. Cutting anti-hunger funding is damaging to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and it is particularly harmful at this moment.
Foodlink’s membership network has experienced a staggering 50 percent increase in individuals served since the height of the pandemic.
We echo the concerns of Feeding New York State and will be signing and sharing this petition as we advocate for the following:
Foodlink and our food pantry partners rely on HPNAP funding for core operational needs such as purchasing food, refrigeration/storage, and utilities. The Executive Budget proposes a concerning $22M cut to last year’s budget, reverting HPNAP to pre-pandemic levels of $34.5M. The association of NYS Food Banks is unified in our request for $64 million for HPNAP.
The Executive Budget suggests flat funding for Nourish NY at $50M, falling short of NY food banks’ requested $75M. The funding of Nourish supports food banks to purchase directly from local producers, making it impactful both in public health and economic development. We believe this funding should continue to grow.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP):
SNAP is our nation’s most critical anti-hunger program. There are bills currently proposed that would increase the SNAP minimum benefits to $100 from a paltry $23 now; yet the Governor’s budget does not include this new minimum benefit. In addition, the proposed budget reduces funding for NOEP, which is the leading SNAP outreach program in NYS. We strongly endorse fully funding NOEP at $5.5M, and raising the floor on SNAP.
- Additional Measures
Foodlink supports various bills, such as Healthy School Meals for All and the Working Families Tax Credit, which were not included in the Governor’s budget. Healthy School Meals for All would increase access to quality food for students throughout the state, and the Working Families Tax Credit would provide much needed economic relief for vulnerable families. Foodlink is very supportive of any legislative action that increases access to quality food and alleviates poverty, and we hope that the final budget continues to make progress towards these two goals.
Foodlink, along with fellow anti-hunger organizations, will engage with elected officials in Albany, sharing petitions and advocating for policy funding that aligns with our mission to end hunger and build healthier communities. Your support through signing and sharing this petition is crucial.
Check out photos from Lobby Day – 2/14/24
Whitley Hasty, our benefits navigation coordinator, joined other advocates and lawmakers at the New York State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 14, to push for more funding to fight food insecurity across the state.