New York News
3:00 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

AARP & Hunger Action Network Offer Food Policy & SNAP Recommendations

AARP New York is out with new recommendations aimed at helping the estimated 50 percent of older adults in New York State who may be eligible but are not receiving nutrition help through the SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps.

The AARP white paper, entitled “Hunger Among Older Adults: Breaking Down the Barriers,” came out Thursday, the same day the Hunger Action Network released a paper critical of the New York Food Policy Council.

AARP’s report encourages New York State to simplify and streamline the SNAP application process for those over 60, use data-driven strategies to identify potentially eligible individuals, and increase the benefit amount by implementing a standard medical deduction for seniors with out-of-pocket medical expenses.

While SNAP is identified as one of the most effective ways to reduce hunger, increasing participation in the benefit can also be a boost to local economies.  Every $5 used in SNAP benefits adds $9 to the economy.

The recommended policy changes outlined in the association’s second white paper on older adult hunger, titled “Hunger Among Older Adults: Breaking Down the Barriers,” encourage New York State to simplify and streamline the SNAP application process for those over 60, use data-driven strategies to identify potentially eligible individuals, and increase the benefit amount by implementing a standard medical deduction for seniors with out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Nearly 500,000 New Yorkers age 60+ receive SNAP benefits, which averages $170 per month for adults age 60 and over, allowing them to maintain good health and nutrition, yet according to census data, an additional half million older New Yorkers could potentially be eligible.

The Hunger Action Network's Mark Dunlea urges federal and state food policymakers to look to New York city as a model.

Steve Ammerman with the New York Farm Bureau adds that it of great importance  the Congressional Farm Bill standoff be resolved.

http://states.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/AARP-NY-2013-Hunger-White-Paper.pdf

http://www.hungeractionnys.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/FoodPolicyCouncilStudy2013.pdf

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