The state of New York hasn’t shied away from opening its coffers to help its needy citizens this year, as Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced the release of a further $44.4 million in federal pandemic funds to aid back-to-school expenses and nutritional assistance.
The Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund was born out of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, with the goal of assisting struggling families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution of these funds will be overseen by New York’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) and are expected to help 218,300 children, according to the governor’s website.
“Hardworking New York families are still feeling the economic toll of the pandemic,” the governor said. “As New Yorkers prepare to send their children back to school this fall, these one-time payments will help struggling families across the state pay for education supplies and other household expenses that may otherwise pose a burden on their household budget.”
“This is yet another step we are taking to help lower costs of living for hardworking families hit hardest by the pandemic,” Hochul added.
Due to begin immediately, the funding will provide New York families enrolled in public assistance programs with a one-time payment of $214 for each child aged 3 to 17 and $150 for each child younger than 3 years.
Out of the $44.4 million, $39.3 million will be distributed to assist with back-to-school costs for around 184,000 eligible children and $5.1 million is earmarked to help with early life nutritional expenses for roughly 34,300 kids.
This is the latest in a series of assistance initiatives issued by Hochul and the OTDA using the state’s allocated federal pandemic funds. During the national diaper shortage In February, checks for $140 were sent to families for every child under age 3.
In April and May, funds were tapped to help multi-generational families and families on public assistance with children under 17 with payments of $730 and $250 respectively, per the New York State site.
And at the end of July, Hochul announced that the state will give $70 million to 344 new childcare facilities to make up for the 2,000 programs lost during the pandemic, per New York’s ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
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