COVID-19 update: Public school families to receive funds for summer groceries: Lander
On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.
Thanks to the hard work of community food advocates, with support from the NYC Council Progressive Caucus, to win the fight for a universal free lunch in 2017, this summer, every NYC public school family will get a Pandemic EBT card with $420 per student to pay for groceries. In order to remove the stigma of school lunch, these funds will support families to buy food while students are not in the classroom, City Councilmember Brad Lander writes. The program has also arranged with several grocery stores in the district for people to use their EBT cards to purchase food directly for emergency food providers and mutual aid groups in our neighborhood. More information may be found here.
On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced additional guidance and assistance for businesses that can re-open in Phase Three including personal care services and indoor dining. Phase Three is projected to begin on July 6th. “New Yorkers have shown incredible resilience during this crisis, and it’s because of their hard work that we are on track for Phase Three on July 6th,” said de Blasio. “We are offering businesses across the City assistance so they can re-open safely and get New Yorkers back to work.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced that New York will offer to assist states with high infection rates, as several states begin to see spikes in COVID-19. The Governor also announced that a seven-day average of positive state tests is 1.1 percent — the lowest of any big state in the nation. “In our hour of need we had volunteers from across the country who helped us go from the worst situation in the country to one of the best, and we will repay that help and that kindness in any way we can.” Cuomo said.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams advanced measures included in his COVID-19 Response and Recovery Agenda with the City Council on Thursday, as the City Council unanimously passed his legislation to defer the property tax liabilities on certain residential property owners impacted by COVID-19. The bill, Intro 1974-A, will require the City’s Department of Finance to offer agreements to defer real property tax liability otherwise due and payable as of July 1, 2020, until October 1, 2020.