WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – On November 1, 2013, all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit recipients will see a decrease in their monthly SNAP allotment. This is because the increase provided by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will expire. In 2009, Congress passed ARRA to allow for a temporary boost in SNAP benefits to help offset the economic downturn. This federal Act allowed for SNAP recipients to receive a 13.6% increase in their maximum monthly SNAP allotment. ARRA has not been renewed by Congress and as a result, the temporary increase is expiring. “We want all SNAP recipients to know about this decrease before it happens so that they can plan accordingly,” said Kira Wilkins, NOEP Specialist, Catholic Charities of Schuyler County. “This decrease will have an effect on the food purchasing budget of more than 651 Schuyler County Residents.” Recipients will see two changes in their benefit amounts during the fall of 2013. Every October 1, benefits increase slightly for most households to reflect the cost of living. This annual increase took place the beginning of this month. In addition, on November 1 of this year only, all SNAP recipients will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 federal law. Most SNAP recipients will see a decrease of about $11 dollars per person, per month. The amount of the SNAP cut is based on the household size.

Current SNAP recipients are now receiving letters in the mail from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) explaining the situation in more detail. SNAP recipients can view their new benefit amount in November, on the day they usually receive benefits. They can check the amount by going to mybenefits.ny.gov or by calling the Customer Service Help Line at 888.328.6399, which is listed on the back of their EBT card.

SNAP recipients can also contact, Kira Wilkins, Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) Coordinator in Schuyler County to clarify any questions they may have.

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Hunger Solutions New York manages the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) in New York State. This unique model offers free and confidential services to connect hungry New Yorkers with nutrition assistance programs.