ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On March 1, the federal government ended pandemic-era payments for low-income families on SNAP. After nearly three years with an average around an extra $90 per person each month, families could continue to struggle.
If your family’s financial status has changed since your last recertification, including an increase in rent, childcare fees, medical expenses, or loss of income, visit your local SNAP office or website to get recertified.
Free Food Fridge Albany is a confidential, barrier-free way to access food items to supplement a grocery trip, or simply to make it through the day. Founder Jammella Anderson said the need at the fridges across Albany, Schenectady, and Troy remains high.
“We knew the pandemic did so much damage, and now we’re feeling the aftereffects, so food costs are so high,” Anderson explained. “So even if you have 95 extra dollars in your SNAP benefits, that’s still not going to get you what it did maybe two or three years ago.”
They’re calling on the community for donations as the work and demand are only increasing.
“Every time someone donates something, it’s helpful to someone,” Anderson said.
Inflation is also impacting food pantries, where the pressure is on even more now. The Food Pantries for the Capital District Executive Director Natasha Pernicka said the ending of these benefits couldn’t come at a worse time, but they’re doing everything they can, including calling on the state to increase funding for food programs.
“Food pantries are here to help. There are food pantries throughout the Capital Region and New York State, and if people don’t know where to turn, it’s easy to use our map at thefoodpantries.org to search for food pantries across New York State.”
Sponsor of South End Grocery, Travon Jackson, said the not-for-profit-run store still hasn’t been approved for SNAP and food stamps, but it’s in the works. In the meantime, lots of other discounts are available. He said the structure of the grocery, from the start, was meant to help those with and without benefits.
“Two years of budgeting for food is a very long time to cut short in a day, and starvation is not something that we take lightly,” Jackson said, “so we always allow for crisis meals. We regularly donate and provide in-kind service and foods to people who request them, and for those who have benefits but are unable to access them or rely on them solely. We also provide complimentary and discounted meals as well.”
- South End residents in the 12202 zip code: 25% off
- Downtown residents in the 12207 zip code: 20% off
- City of Albany residents outside of 12202 and 12207 zip codes: 10% off
- Persons of color from the global African diaspora: 10% off
- Indigenous people: 10% off
- Veterans: 10% off
- Families whose property was taken to build Albany’s Capital Plaza: 5% off
- School district employees, college and trade students, EMS and firefighters: 5% off