New York City is launching a new initiative to provide pre-paid credit cards to migrants, enabling them to buy food and baby supplies. This program, costing the city $53 million, is an extension of a partnership with New Jersey's Mobility Capital Finance, which previously offered similar assistance to residents in need. Initially, around 500 families staying at the Roosevelt Hotel will benefit from this scheme, with the amount provided every 28 days varying based on family size—a family of four, for example, will receive $1,000.
Participants must agree to spend the funds solely on food and baby supplies and can use the cards at grocery stores, convenience stores, and bodegas. This initiative aims to grant migrants more autonomy in their food choices, particularly catering to their cultural dietary preferences, a response to complaints about the city's past meal provisions in hotels. Mayor Eric Adams's administration highlights the program's potential to save over $600,000 monthly by offering a more cost-effective solution for supporting the city's migrant population. This effort follows the arrival of over 157,000 immigrants in New York City since last year, a significant influx that has prompted various responses from local government officials.