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City Council Takes “Huge Step” in Increasing Food Stamp Enrollment

June 20, 2008

A recent City Council study found that 600,000 families citywide are eligible for federal food stamp benefits, but have not applied. In response to these findings, City Council has vowed to increase outreach to the one million New Yorkers who receive Medicaid benefits but have yet to apply for food stamps. At a press conference on Wednesday, June 18th City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and NYCCAH Executive Director Joel Berg emphasized the needless waste of unclaimed food stamp benefits, noting that food stamps benefit the City by putting federal funds directly into the local economy. “We’re leaving money on the table in Washington,” said Quinn. Council staff plans to increase awareness of food stamp eligibility through mailings to current Medicaid recipients and by direct outreach at supermarkets. “We have a moral obligation to ensure government does everything in its power to reach out to those who qualify to help build a healthier New York,” said Councilman Eric Gioia. Berg called the measure a “huge step” in the fight against hunger in New York City.

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