As 2021 begins and we brace for new economic challenges, we’re tracking how public policy will impact the lives of everyone who visits us for food assistance and social services over the coming weeks and years. Here are some key updates that affect the Soup Kitchen’s meeting:
- Homelessness Prevention: New York extended their eviction ban, halting current proceedings for at least 60 days and banning new eviction proceedings until at least May 1.
- Food Security: The latest economic relief package passed by Congress includes $26 billion for nutrition assistance and agriculture and rural programs. This includes an across-the-board 15% increase in monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, for 6 months, starting January 1.
- Homeless Response: NYC achieved a grim milestone in 2020. Homeless advocacy groups estimated the city’s shelter system housed more than 20,000 single adults in October – for the first time in the city’s history. According to Politico, “single adults are a relatively small part of the shelter system, representing 28 percent of people in the city’s shelters while families make up the remaining 72 percent, but they look to be the city’s bigger challenge.” Many of the guests standing on the Soup Kitchen’s line every day fall into this category, and we join our peers in calling for more housing and supportive services to help them lead more fulfilling lives.