To Commemorate NYS Hunger Awareness Day, CCC’s YouthAction Members Release PSA as Part of Anti-Hunger Advocacy Campaign
March 15, 2012 – Today, Citizens’ Committee for Children’s YouthAction Members (YAMs) released a Public Service Announcement directed toward the nearly half million New Yorkers who are eligible for food stamps, but are not receiving them. The public service announcement, released to coincide with New York State Hunger Awareness Day, provides information to eligible New Yorkers about how they can apply for food stamps. The PSA can be viewed here:
YouthAction NYC is a program of CCC that introduces high school students to civic engagement and advocacy opportunities. These aspiring young leaders meet once a week after school to analyze social policies, current events, and community issues, so they can develop policy and budgetary recommendations to improve the lives of New York City’s children and youth. YAMs execute advocacy campaigns and meet with elected and appointed officials in Albany and at City Hall.
After looking at recent census data, and learning how many families and children in New York City are having trouble putting food on the table, CCC’s YouthAction Members (YAMs) decided to take action. Lachoy, a YAM since 2010, stated, “We learned that 1.8 million New York City residents live in a home where there isn’t always enough food. One in five children live in these types of homes. In addition, there are many soup kitchens and food pantries that do not have enough food to satisfy the growing demand. New York City needs to find new ways to address this issue and help New Yorkers in need access food.”
"CCC applauds our YouthAction members for drawing attention to the need to combat food insecurity. Since 2007 there has been a 53% increase in the number of New York City families with children who are receiving benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but still thousands of families are eligible but not receiving SNAP benefits. CCC hopes this public service announcement will ensure that struggling New Yorkers, who may not know they are eligible for this vital program, learn how to receive SNAP support for their families," said Jennifer March-Joly, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children.
After meeting with New York City Council Member and General Welfare Committee Chair Annabel Palma’s office and policy analysts from the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, YAMs were surprised to learn that despite the obvious need, many eligible families are not receiving SNAP benefits, commonly referred to as food stamps. YouthAction Members chose to focus their advocacy efforts on raising awareness about SNAP benefits among populations that are particularly at risk for under- enrollment, and are thankful for the support of Council Member Palma, Speaker Quinn, and the Human Resources Administration in these efforts.
“In this time of economic hardship, more New Yorkers are relying on SNAP and other food assistance programs than ever before, but there are still many New Yorkers who don’t realize they are eligible for this program and aren’t receiving assistance,” said Council Member Annabel Palma, Chair of the Council’s Committee on General Welfare. “I am delighted that the young people of YouthAction NYC have recognized the seriousness of this problem and have shown the initiative to address it head on. This public service announcement is an important step in ensuring that this program is accessible to those in need.”
YouthAction Member Jesus, 16, said “We believe New York City can make the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more accessible to those in need by eliminating the stigma associated with receiving food stamps, reducing overcrowding and administrative oversights at HRA centers, and educating immigrant communities about enrollment policies.”
"New Yorkers should not have to worry about how to feed their families. There are programs in place for those who need food assistance, and we must ensure that those who are eligible are aware of and able to access SNAP benefits without restrictive administrative barriers or stigma. Thank you to the hardworking CCC YouthAction members for doing their part to help spread the word," said Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council.
“The Food Stamps program is here to provide support to families who need help making ends meet, and to increase access to nutritious food,” said Assistant Deputy Commissioner Gary Jenkins, head of HRA’s Division of Food Stamp Services. “Food Stamps have given over one million New Yorkers the help they need to make it through tough times. We will continue to assist those who are eligible.”
YouthAction’s Public Service Announcement is available online at: