Benefits Access Success Stories

New Yorkers' Experiences with Hunger Free NYC

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One family we have helped is Maryann and Jason, and their five young children. Due to the pandemic, Jason has been unable to find work and the family was struggling to afford their rent and groceries. Maryann — who recently gave birth — found out about Hunger Free NYC's services from a nurse at a prenatal appointment and reached out to our Benefits Specialist.

Maryann and Jason had previously always been hesitant to apply for SNAP and WIC due to their immigration status, but they took a leap of faith due to the extreme hardship they faced during Covid-19, and entrusted Hunger Free NYC with their application. Our Benefits Specialist helped the family complete the application process for SNAP, and they were approved for more than $900 in benefits each month. Maryann and three of her children were also approved for WIC benefits.

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Sandra, a single mom with three children, immigrated to the United States 15 years ago to provide her family with a better quality of life. Prior to Covid-19, Sandra worked two jobs to provide a stable life for her young children. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Sandra has been unable to return to either of her previous positions. At the moment, she only has an IRS identification number and does not qualify for unemployment benefits and did not receive the stimulus check, despite paying taxes for the last 15 years.

When she contacted our organization, Sandra had already exhausted all of her savings to cover her housing expenses and her family's immediate necessities. After we assisted Sandra with the SNAP application, she received emergency benefits in 5 days. Thankfully, Sandra is now able to count on this monthly federally-funded benefit to feed her children while she continues to look for stable employment.

If your situation is similar to Sandra's, don't hesitate to contact us to see if you qualify for food assistance. Our services are free and confidential.

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Andrew is a 62-year-old disabled man who lives in Jamaica, Queens. He has been receiving SSD for over five years. He was always told he didn’t qualify for SNAP because his SSD income was too high. However, his expenses were also high and since he fell below the 200% poverty line income requirement, he had a higher chance to qualify. Two months ago, he came across a Hunger Free NYC flyer advertising our SNAP services and he decided to give his application shot. Once our Benefits Access team screened him, they informed him he qualifies for an average of $140 a month. After following our instructions and completing all steps of the SNAP application, he received an approval letter for only $16 dollars a month. He called us and told us he got approved, but for only $16 and not the amount we told him. Our BA team reviewed his case and realized the Human Resources Administration (HRA) had made a mistake regarding his utility expenses. We submitted a complaint to HRA for his case to be re-evaluated. They corrected the mistake and finally approved his case for $136 a month. He could have been receiving his benefits a few years ago but unfortunately, he was misinformed about his qualification for SNAP — now, he feels more secure about his financial future. 

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A client reached out to one of our Benefits Access specialists in April and disclosed that she and her husband have been out of work for over a month and were in desperate need of food assistance. Initially, she wanted to know if it was possible to qualify for help because of her delicate immigration status. However, after prescreening the household, it became evident that her children were eligible for a potential monthly SNAP allotment of $646. Nevertheless, she was hesitant to apply and wanted to verify the legitimacy of our organization before moving forward. We provided her our business card (via text) and directed her to our website, where we describe our programs and list our staff members. Since we could only assist clients remotely at that time, our priority was first to establish trust. Once she was ready, we assisted her with the application and the steps required to upload the necessary documents into the mobile app. Thankfully, her benefits were soon approved, and she received an EBT card in the mail shortly afterward.