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CUF Research Influences Legislation to Enroll More Older Adults in Food Assistance

Impact - February 2020

CUF Research Influences Legislation to Enroll More Older Adults in Food Assistance

The New York City Council passed legislation to ensure more eligible older adults are enrolled in federal food assistance, following a key recommendation from CUF's policy blueprint for expanding and improving older adult services.

Tags: low income

On February 11, 2020, the New York City Council passed legislation to ensure more eligible older adults are enrolled in  the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Council bill follows CUF's January release of Age of Opportunity, a set of over sixty achievable policy recommendations for how city and state policymakers can expand and improve older adult services to meet the evolving needs of older adults today. Among our priority recommendations was a call for the city to launch an extensive campaign to enroll more older New Yorkers in the benefits programs for which they are eligible. We recommended that the Department for the Aging (DFTA) partner with other city agencies to undertake a major marketing and outreach campaign to draw attention to the benefits programs available to older adults and to help them enroll.

The new legislation does just that, requiring DFTA and the Department of Social Services (DSS) to join together and “develop a plan to identify and enroll seniors who are eligible for SNAP benefits, but who are not yet enrolled to receive such benefits,” according to the bill’s summary. 

CUF has published a number of studies examining New York's rapidly growing and increasingly diverse older adult population. In January, CUF convened two major policy forums in New York City and Albany that explored how policymakers can expand and improve services for older New Yorkers. And in 2019, CUF released "New York’s Older Adult Population Is Booming Statewide," which identifes major trends in older adult population growth statewide.