NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City will distribute prepaid debit cards to migrant families as part of a new pilot program to help them buy food and baby supplies.
The prepaid debit cards will be supplied to an initial 500 migrant families with children to use exclusively to buy food and baby supplies at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
The prepaid debit cards will be used in place of New York City’s current system of providing non-perishable food boxes to migrant families staying in hotels. The program is being launched as a cost-saving measure, according to Mayor Eric Adams’ office.
“Not only will this provide families with the ability to purchase fresh food for their culturally relevant diets and the baby supplies of their choosing, but the pilot program is expected to save New York City more than $600,000 per month, or more than $7.2 million annually,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.
The migrants who receive the prepaid debit cards will be required to sign an affidavit affirming that they will use the cards for their intended purposes, according to the mayor’s office. Anyone who violates the terms risks being removed from the pilot program.
New York City partnered with the company Mobility Capital Finance to launch the program.
More than 173,000 migrants have come through New York City’s intake system since the spring of 2022, according to city officials. More than 60% of those migrants have since moved on from the city’s care, officials said.