A 71-year-old Brooklyn resident who lives alone is worried about going to sleep one day and never waking up.
As per court documents, Maria Forest’s anxiety is the result of a dietary adjustment she had to make after mysteriously losing her monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A woman has diabetes and has to purchase less healthy food because she doesn’t have the extra money. Forest, who walks with a walking stick due to a spinal injury, has also had to decide about paying for meals and buying painkillers.
She is among a group of plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought against New York City because the city’s late benefit payments left hundreds of SNAP recipients in a problem. The Brooklyn resident last got assistance in September.
Since that day, she has contacted up to 20 different agency numbers per day in an attempt to receive assistance but has been unsuccessful.
The Department of Social Services in New York City seems to have a 20% vacancy rate, based on a report by the city comptroller from December 2022. SNAP benefits are managed in the 5 boroughs by DSS/Human Resources Administration.