Ensuring the Continued Use and Benefits of SNAP During COVID-19

by Deirdre Appel

The spread of COVID-19 in New York City is having widespread effects on all aspects of our food system. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as SNAP, is no exception. SNAP benefits, which can be used to purchase fresh produce and groceries at participating stores and online retainers, are needed now more than ever to ensure that current circumstances do not jeopardize the food security of our citizens. 

To support all SNAP beneficiaries, the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center has compiled a short list of resources, including where to apply, what to do if your application was already in process, as well as local online retailers and farmers markets accepting SNAP. These resources are part of our larger Coronavirus Food Resource Guides. Please visit here for resources specific to your neighborhood.

If you or someone you know has additional questions or is facing hunger or food insecurity, please contact us at info@NYCfoodpolicy.org or call Emergency Food Hotline: 866-888-8777.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • All in-person Human Resource Administration (HRA) Appointments are CANCELLED.
  • All SNAP application and recertification interviews can now be done online/by phone.
  • Apply for SNAP online at www.nyc.gov/accesshra or by smart phone with the ACCESS HRA app. After you submit your application, complete your eligibility interview by calling 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) anytime between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
  • It usually takes 30 days after the submission is completed (or 7 days with expedited service) for SNAP benefits to take effect.  But because of coronavirus, there may be significant delays.
  • If you cannot get SNAP benefits quickly enough and need urgent help, please call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777.

SNAP Application:

  • Apply online for SNAP here. User guide here.
  • To request an application by mail call the Infoline: 718-557-1399. Completed applications can be faxed to MARU: (917)-639-1111
  • For information on documents you may need to apply click here.
  • To locate a SNAP center near you click here.

If you were already in the process of applying for SNAP:

  • Your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) case will stay open EVEN if you DO NOT….
    • Complete your eligibility interview in person if one was scheduled. You can still complete your eligibility interview by phone by calling 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) anytime between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.
    • Submit your 6-month periodic report. Please submit all required documents through the ACCESS HRA app’s mobile document upload feature.
    • Meet the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements

Online retailers accepting SNAP in NYC:

  • Amazon
    • Add your SNAP EBT card here.
    • Amazon Restaurants is not currently operating
    • Amazon Fresh inventory and delivery may sometimes be unavailable; confirmation is available only at online checkout
    • Prime Now, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market are still delivering. Delivery customers always have the option to select “unattended delivery” (if no alcohol in order) during checkout if they prefer not to come into contact with others.
    • Check coronavirus updates here.
  • ShopRite
    • Does not accept EBT for delivery, just for pick up orders.
  • Walmart

*SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay delivery fees. 

Health Bucks
Health Bucks is a coupon program that is run by the City of New York. Health Bucks can be used at any NYC Farmers Market that accepts SNAP benefits. 

    • All SNAP recipients are eligible for Health Bucks. 
    • For every $5 you spend at farmers markets using SNAP on an EBT card, you automatically and immediately get $2 in Health Bucks
    • Pharmacy to Farm Prescription program
      • Receive $30 in Health Bucks when you fill your prescription for blood pressure medication at select pharmacies in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan
      • Sign up at any pharmacy listed below:
  • Brooklyn
    • Brooklyn Center Pharmacy at 104 Dekalb Ave., 11201 in Downtown Brooklyn
    • Myrtle Drug Care at 355 Myrtle Ave., 11205 in Fort Greene
    • Park Drugs at 801 Nostrand Ave., 11225 in Crown Heights
    • Whitman Pharmacy at 329A Myrtle Ave., 11205 in Fort Greene
  • Manhattan
    • Drug Mart II at 4873 Broadway, 10034 in Inwood
    • Dyckman Pharmacy at 199 Dyckman St, 10040 in Inwood
    • Nagle Pharmacy at 210 Nagle Ave., 10034 in Inwood
    • New Amsterdam Drug Mart at 698 Amsterdam Ave., 10025 on the Upper West Side
    • New London Pharmacy at 246 8th Ave., 10011 in Chelsea
    • New York City Pharmacy at 206 1st Ave., 10009 in the East Village
    • Quick RX UWS at 909 Columbus Ave., 10025 on the Upper West Side
  • Queens
    • Image Heights Pharmacy at 7501 37th Ave., 11372 in Jackson Heights
    • Jannat Pharmacy at 7203 35th Ave., 11372 in Jackson Heights
    • Nueva Vida Pharmacy at 81-25 37th Ave., 11372 in Jackson Heights
    • Superior Pharmacy at 80-05 Roosevelt Ave., 11372 in Jackson Heights
  • GrowNYC Farmers Markets and Youthmarkets: offering seasonal, fresh produce for New York City residents. 
    • Locate a market near you here. Most accept EBT/SNAP and Health Bucks 
    • Customers are not allowed to touch the produce and no samples are provided. Market staff and stall operators will select your produce.
    • See GrowNYC updates here.
  • GrowNYC Fresh Food Boxes: seasonal produce well below retail prices
    • Visit a Fresh Food Box site near you (see bullets below)
    • Pay $14 (or $15 at workplace sites) in cash, credit/debit, EBT/SNAP, or Health Bucks for next week’s share
    • Return the following week to pick up your share: 10-15 pounds of fresh, high-quality produce
    • All Fresh Food Box sites accept SNAP/EBT and Health Bucks
    • SUSPENDED: Hunter College, Brooklyn Army Terminal, 1 Centre Street, and Department of Health.
    • OPEN (Operating outdoors. Click here for more information):
      • Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: 70th Street & 1st Avenue, 1st Avenue Entrance
      • Project H.O.P.E.: 854 Hunts Point Avenue
      • Family Health Center of Harlem: Now operating at East Harlem Health Action Center (below)
      • East Harlem Health Action Center: 158 E 115th Street
      • Uptown Grand Central: Southwest corner of 125th Street & Park Avenue
      • Bed-Stuy Fresh Food Box: 403 Lewis Ave

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