Governor Cuomo Announces $4.5 Million in Emergency Food Assistance Grants for This Holiday Season

Grants Will Help 2,600 Emergency Food Providers Meet Needs of New Yorkers Impacted by Recent Federal Cuts to SNAP Benefits

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Albany, NY - November 25, 2013 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4.5 million in grants to help 2,600 emergency food providers throughout New York State respond to an increased need for food assistance following the recent reduction in federal SNAP benefits that has impacted 3.1 million New Yorkers. The Governor today also encouraged New Yorkers and businesses to donate food or volunteer at a local food bank this holiday season.


Click here for audio of today’s conference call with Governor Cuomo on this announcement.


“With the holiday season upon us, New York State is stepping up to help food banks and soup kitchens across the state stock their shelves and feed those in need,” Governor Cuomo said. “These state grants are aimed at filling the gap caused by the recent cuts in federal SNAP benefits and provide a boost to vital food assistance programs, to help provide relief to impacted New Yorkers. This time of year is also about celebrating the spirit of giving, so I encourage all New Yorkers to join our efforts by donating food or volunteering their time at local food banks and soup kitchens. A little can go a long way, and I encourage all who can to help those less fortunate this year.”


Overall, the number of emergency meals reported for 2013 is trending at approximately 13 percent more than the same time last year, according to data provided to the State’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program. Recent federal cuts to the SNAP program will eliminate a total of $302 million of annual SNAP benefits in New York. This year’s increased demand for emergency food has resulted in emergency food providers struggling to keep their shelves full.


The $4.5 million in grants represent a 15% increase in the State’s funding to food banks and can provide approximately 2.8 million meals. These grants will provide food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries with the immediate resources they need to feed those seeking assistance this holiday season.


The grants are being distributed to the following 46 organizations that serve 2,600 emergency food providers across the state:

  • United Way of New York City (New York City): $831,462
  • Food Bank for New York City (New York City): $550,946
  • Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York (New York City): $22,676
  • Church of the Holy Apostles (New York City): $22,676
  • City Harvest (New York City): $45,243
  • Coalition for the Homeless (New York City): $22,676
  • Gay Men’s Health Crisis (New York City): $22,676
  • God’s Love We Deliver (New York City): $22,676
  • Just Food (New York City): $22,676
  • Safe Horizon (New York City): $22,676
  • The Momentum Project (New York City): $30,989
  • Trinity's Services and Food for the Homeless, Inc. (New York City): $28,055
  • Urban Pathways (New York City): $18,676
  • West Side Center for Community Life/West Side Campaign Against Hunger (New York City): $52,911
  • New York Common Pantry (New York City): $52,911
  • Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (New York City): $22,676
  • CAMBA, Inc. (New York City): $23,799
  • Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services (New York City): $34,398
  • Community Health Action of Staten Island, Inc. (New York City): $19,988
  • New Direction Services, Inc. (New York City): $17,513
  • Part of the Solution (New York City): $35,620
  • Project Hospitality (New York City): $36,497
  • St. John's Bread and Life (New York City): $35,060
  • The Fortune Society, Inc. (New York City): $18,032
  • United Bronx Parents, Inc. (New York City): $22,676
  • CACHE, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $28,629
  • The Food Bank for Westchester, Inc. (Mid-Hudson): $171,974
  • Island Harvest (Long Island): $29,405
  • Long Island Cares, Inc. (Long Island): $245,392
  • Food Bank of Central New York (Central New York): $382,722
  • 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
  • Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Inc. (Capital Region): $544,293
  • Capital District Community Gardens (Capital Region): $36,276
  • Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region, Inc. (Capital Region): $17,146
  • FOCUS Churches of Albany (Capital Region): $15,395
  • Food Bank Association of New York State (Capital Region): $22,676
  • Schenectady Inner City Ministry (Capital Region): $38,082
  • Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. (Capital Region): $22,676
  • Warren-Hamilton Counties ACEO, Inc. (Capital Region): $18,593
  • JCEO (North Country): $22,676


Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Chair of the Food Bank Association of New York State, said, “This additional funding from New York State will go a long way toward putting food on the tables of hungry New Yorkers this holiday season. The federal government’s cuts to SNAP benefits have impacted vulnerable individuals in every community and impacted food banks all across the state, which makes Governor Cuomo’s support all the more important. I thank the Governor for his support of New York’s food banks and the many families that they serve.”


Margarette Purvis, President & CEO, Food Bank of New York City, said, “As a result of cuts to federal SNAP benefits, low-income New Yorkers are struggling across the state to feed themselves and their families. Thankfully, Governor Cuomo is stepping in with funding to help us bridge the gap and feed some of the most vulnerable populations in our communities. The importance of this support cannot be overstated, and with the holidays quickly approaching, I encourage New Yorkers to help their neighbors in need.”


This holiday season, Governor Cuomo also encourages New Yorkers and businesses to help meet the increased demand for emergency food by donating or volunteering at their local food pantry or church, which are supported in large part by private donations. New Yorkers can visit the following websites or call one of the eight regional food banks for more information about making a donation in their community if they cannot find a location nearby:

  • Food Bank of Western New York (located in Buffalo),, 716-852-1305 Foodlink (located in Rochester),, 585-328-3380
  • Food Bank of the Southern Tier (located in Elmira),, 607-796-6061
  • Food Bank of Central New York (located in Syracuse),, 315-437-1899
  • Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (located in Latham with a satellite facility, the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, at Cornwall-on-Hudson),, 518-786-3691
  • Food Bank For Westchester (located in Elmsford),, 914-923-1100
  • Food Bank For New York City,, 212-566-7855
  • Long Island Cares, Inc./The Harry Chapin Food Bank (located in Hauppauge),, 631-582-3663


Items in highest demand by emergency food providers include:

  • canned meat (chicken, turkey, tuna fish, canned chili with beans) – lower sodium versions preferred;
  • peanut butter and lower sodium canned beans (particularly kidney and pinto, due to the high protein content);
  • canned vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, white and sweet potatoes) – lower sodium versions preferred;
  • canned fruit (peaches, apricots, oranges) packed in fruit juice;
  • shelf stable 1% or fat free fluid milk (UHT box pack);
  • canned pasta meals containing 7 or more grams of protein per serving (i.e. spaghetti-meatballs) – lower sodium versions preferred;
  • cereal containing 3 or more grams of fiber per serving;
  • pasta – whole wheat and whole grain varieties appreciated; and
  • rice and instant brown rice


Under the Governor’s leadership, New York has taken significant steps in the past three years to extend food assistance to New Yorkers in need. In 2011, Governor Cuomo launched the FreshConnect program, which brings fresh, locally grown food to underserved communities. The FreshConnect program includes projects such as youth markets, delivery of products to low-income housing facilities and new initiatives at traditional farmers’ markets.


The Governor also ended the finger imaging requirement for SNAP benefit applicants and recipients, simplifying the application process and removing a barrier to reducing hunger for children and adults.