Are you receiving a $420 card in the mail here in the Utica, Rome, Syracuse areas for food relief?

Prepaid food stamp debit cards with $420 on them have been going out this month from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Syracuse.com reports that the cards are part of pandemic relief funding to make up for school lunches that children did not receive in the spring. Some of the families who are receiving the cards have no idea what they are or why they’re getting them. Any student who attends a school where there was free lunch for all students, called community eligibility, will receive one of the cards.

Families in those districts do not have to meet any income guidelines to get the cards and do not have to fill out any paperwork. For families who have never received public assistance or food stamps, the cards are simply showing up in mailboxes, unannounced. Families that already receive public assistance had the money added to their accounts earlier this year. They will not be receiving a separate card or additional money this month.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Syracuse.com also reports that this is only happening in districts where the poverty rates are high enough that the schools are able to participate in a federal program that allows every child in the district to receive free meals, regardless of individual income.  Upstate districts included in this program are Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Utica, Geneva, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, some schools in Liverpool and Hannibal.

To see other districts, you can search a database online.