Ensuring Food Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 27, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYSHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYSHealth awarded Community Food Advocates (CFA) a grant to help ensure New Yorkers have access to nutrition services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this grant, CFA partnered with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Food & Nutrition Services to improve citywide food distribution site operations. CFA also made full use of new flexibilities for enrollment in and administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It helped develop a streamlined plan to ensure all qualifying families gained access to additional SNAP funding made available by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as well as tracked new federal laws to ensure New Yorkers could access additional opportunities for food and nutrition services. CFA shared information related to food distribution sites and SNAP benefits for children and adults on its website. Additionally, CFA collected data from youth service providers on the pandemic’s impact on current school food experiences to identify gaps and needs.