New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written to federal officials urging them to renew a policy allowing food stamp recipients to use their benefits at local farmers’ markets.
The Democratic governor wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week to express concern. He says the federal government notified the state that because of a technology change, recipients of what’s officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would no longer be able to use their benefits at farmers’ markets.
He says the program helped give low-income households access to fresh fruits, vegetables and other locally produced items. He argues that eliminating the option would hurt recipients and local farmers.
There was no immediate response from the Department of Agriculture to Gov. Cuomo’s letter.