‘Food Stamp’ Upgrade Eased on Prime Shopping Day

NEW YORK -

A planned system upgrade for New York Dtate food stamps will be tightened so as to make benefits available by noon on Sunday, after elected officials and poverty advocates noted that it would interfere with one of the busiest shopping days for Orthodox Jews.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday gave the promise on the change, which was to have taken place from midnight Motzoei Shabbos until late Sunday afternoon three days before Rosh Hashanah — a three-day Yom Tov due to its proximity to Shabbos.

“Some people said yesterday that we were asking the impossible,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “But nothing is impossible when community works closely with government.”

Others who worked to change the date for the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits include Public Advocate Letitia James and State Sen. Simcha Felder.

The Health Department had originally scheduled the maintenance upgrade to go until 5:00 p.m.