nyc launches 53m program to provide credit cards to migrant families
New York City is starting a new program where they will give $53 million in pre-paid credit cards to migrant families living in hotels. This pilot program will begin with 500 families at the Roosevelt Hotel.
These cards will replace the current food service and let families buy their own food and baby supplies. This change is not just helpful for families to get what they need, but it’s also expected to save the city more than $7.2 million every year.
The city’s Mayor Eric Adams’ office explained that this program is better because it lets families choose fresh food and supplies that fit their cultural needs. However, City Hall hasn’t yet responded directly to questions about this plan.
Families can use these cards only in certain stores like bodegas, grocery stores, and supermarkets. They have to promise to spend the money only on food and baby items. If they don’t, they could lose access to this money.
The amount each family gets depends on how many people are in the family and what other income they have. For example, a family of four might get about $1,000 a month, which is around $35 a day for food. These cards will get new funds every 28 days.
The city is working with a New Jersey company, Mobility Capital Finance, to manage this program. The CEO of this company said they’re excited to help asylum seekers get access to food while also supporting local businesses.
If this program works well with the first 500 families, it might be expanded to all 15,000 migrant families staying in hotels in the city.
New York City has seen over 150,000 migrants arrive since 2022. This has been hard for the city, as they try to find housing for all these people.
The Mayor has called this a crisis and said it could cost the city $12 billion over three years. He even visited Latin America to tell people not to come to New York because the city was already full.
But some people think that giving out things like these credit cards might make even more people want to come to New York.