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Hunger Panel Takes Shape; NYSOFA/OTDA Promote SNAP

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named a diverse group of people to serve on his new state Anti-Hunger Task Force.

The 24-member panel has been given three primary goals: maximizing federal dollars for the state's anti-hunger efforts; promoting public-private partnerships; and increasing the participation of New York's farms in combating hunger while simultaneously stimulating economic activity.

The Commissioners of a variety of state agencies-Agriculture & Markets; Children & Family Services; Education; Temporary & Disability Assistance; and Health - as well as the Director of Farmers Markets at Empire State Development Corporation and the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) will serve on the panel in ex-officio roles.

You can view the full article announcing the Governor's plan in the Albany Times-Union (External Link)on the newspaper's web site.

Did You Know?
In 2013, the NYSOFA and the New York State Office for Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) stepped up efforts to fight hunger via the Senior Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) . This program is also known as "Wellness in Nutrition" (WIN). Here's a quick summary of some of those efforts:
    1. The agencies have collaborated on increasing local participation in EBT technology (External Link) at congregate meal sites. Data indicates this technology provides another option for older New Yorker's to stretch their food dollars by enabling them to use SNAP benefits.
    2. Both agencies made significant outreach efforts at the New York State Fair (External Link) in August 2013, promoting the mybenefits.ny.gov (External Link)website. 60,000 older adults attended the state fair during Senior Days.
    3. The agency engaged in direct SNAP outreach to those receiving Medicare counseling under the NYSOFA Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP). County Offices for the Aging provide information on accessing SNAP benefits by those who are eligible for other Medicare lower-income programs such as EPIC, Medicare Savings Programs and the Social Security "Extra Help" program for prescription assistance. SNAP benefits were shared by the 59 local HIICAP Programs directly with Medicare beneficiaries. With over 500 counselors available state-wide, the HIICAP program is in a unique position to discuss other state and federal benefits with those seeking help to pay for their medical expenses including Medicare prescriptions.

Visit the SNAP website to find out(External Link) if you or a loved one are eligible.

At myBenefits.ny.gov, a simple survey will help you discover (External Link)what other benefits you or someone you know are eligible for additional benefits.

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