The same government program that has us all keeping an eye on our bank accounts or waiting by the mailbox for the $1400 check, is also adding a bump to monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Utica Rome residents and all New Yorkers enrolled in the program will see a 15% increase continue through September of this year.

The American Rescue Plan signed into law by the President provides over $12 billion in nutrition assistance. There are several programs getting a shot in the arm from the plan. In the case of SNAP benefits, or food stamps as they were once known, each New Yorker will get a raise of $30 per person in the household. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the plan will help households put food on the table.

We cannot sit by and watch food insecurity grow in the United States

Funds from the plan will also be used to continue the Summer Food Service Program which provides meals for youth 18 and under when school is not in session. With the COVID - 19 pandemic forcing many schools into remote learning, the program has been in place most of the year.

Other programs benefitting from the American Rescue Plan Include:

  • The WIC program supporting pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children living at low incomes.
  • Meals for young adults in emergency shelters.
  • The Commodity Supplemental Food Program providing the boxed food packages given away at drive-thru events.

There will also be monies used for technical assistance making it easier to use SNAP benefits at Farmers Markets and when buying food online.

You can read more specifics about the American Rescue Plan and how it plans to help put food on the table through nutrition assistance at

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While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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