ALBANY New York will provide $4.5 million in grants to food banks across the state to help offset cuts in the federal food-stamp program.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the money will help 46 organizations that serve 2,600 emergency-food providers. The federal government on Nov. 1 cut benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, affecting about 3.2 million New Yorkers.
"The state is going to do everything it can to try to rectify the situation," Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters.
Cuomo said the state has had an 13 percent increase in emergency meals this year compared to 2012. Cuomo said the $4.5 million is a 15 percent increase in state funding and can pay for 2.8 million meals.
The cuts in food stamps is part of the federal economic stimulus that has expired. The SNAP benefit for an individual dropped $11 a month to $189. A family of four had the monthly benefit drop $36 to $632.
Some of the grants awarded include:
•CACHE, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $28,629
•The Food Bank for Westchester, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $171,974
•Food Bank of the Southern Tier (Southern Tier): $182,285
•Delaware Opportunities, Inc. (Southern Tier): $17,793
•Food Bank of Western New York (Western New York): $318,258
•Cattaraugus Community Action (Western New York): $17,448
•Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc. (Western New York): $22,219
•Heart, Love & Soul, Inc. (Western New York): $20,519
•FOODLINK (Finger Lakes): $289,353
Cuomo encouraged New Yorkers to volunteer at a food bank or to make a donation. Items in highest demand include canned meat, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, and pasta.