Open Letter to HVCS Supporters: NOEP Program in Jeopardy

Every day brings stark news of how the coronavirus pandemic has worsened hunger in New York State. Because we know hunger will remain a challenge throughout the economic downturn, we need to re-double our efforts to enroll people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). New York’s Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) provides free, confidential services to help people learn about and apply for SNAP benefits.

Thanks to NOEP, Hudson Valley Community Services has been able to provide SNAP application assistance to 400 individuals and 625 households each year so they can afford the food they need. NOEP is a critical front-line response for low income families, seniors, disabled and veterans who are food insecure and need help applying for benefits.

Since the start of the pandemic, requests for NOEP assistance have increased dramatically. With state budget cuts looming, funding for NOEP services is at risk and our community may lose these critical services.  The state has rightfully invested millions of dollars into food banks to meet the immediate needs of New Yorkers who need food now. However, SNAP benefits will provide long-term relief to struggling families. NOEP services help people apply for SNAP and the state’s investment in NOEP is needed now more than ever. NOEP services across the State, including in the Mid-Hudson Valley, are at risk and are currently scheduled to end in June. We are asking that concerned citizens reach out to Gov. Cuomo now to help save these imperiled services.

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