Governor David A. Paterson today announced a historic collaboration with George Soros and the Open Society Institute (OSI) that will provide one-time, $200 grants to more than 800,000 children in low-income families across New York State to help purchase school supplies as they prepare to return to class in September. Families who receive public assistance or food stamps can access this one-time Back-To-School Supplement of $200 per school-aged child (ages 3 through 17) starting today. The Governor was joined by Mr. Soros and other elected officials at P.S. 208 in New York City today to make the announcement.
“This first-of-its-kind partnership in New York is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to foster a brighter future for the low-income families of our State,” Governor Paterson said. “These $200 grants will provide thousands of families with a much needed financial boost so that they can better meet the needs of their children as they prepare to go back to school. This partnership is a continuation of my commitment to aggressively identifying opportunities to use economic stimulus funds to help our neediest New Yorkers and to bolster our State’s economy.”
The supplements will be placed in accounts for each eligible family that can be accessed with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which are normally used to access public assistance and food stamp benefits. Two-thirds of the eligible recipients of the back-to-school supplements are in food stamp-only households, and the majority of these households are low-income working families or families receiving unemployment benefits.
Families can use the money to buy their children books, pencils, pens, notebooks, calculators, backpacks, shoes, tutoring, school uniforms and other clothing and essential school items. Families should look to take advantage of discounts offered by retailers in the coming weeks before school starts. The $175 million in Back-To-School Supplements will provide an economic boost to communities throughout the State as families purchase supplies, bolstering back-to-school retail sales.
Families should also check the New York State Consumer Protection Board/s “Stretch Your Dollar” tips at www.consumer.state.ny.us/syde_page.htm, to get ideas on how to make the back-to-school funds buy more while spending less to help their children. Recipients’ eligibility for public assistance, food stamps, child support and medical assistance will not be affected by receiving these one-time Back-To-School Supplements.
NOTE: Click HERE to check you food stamp status online.
(YWN Desk – NYC)