Prepaid credit cards will be given by the administration of Mayor Eric Adams to immigrant families staying in hotels in New York City, according to sources.
According to city records, a $53 million pilot program is being operated by Mobility Capital Finance, a corporation based in New Jersey. The purpose of this program is to help asylum seekers by giving them money to buy food when they arrive at the Roosevelt Hotel.
The food service currently provided to 500 migrant families staying in transient hotels will be replaced, according to City Hall.
Participants in the program who are migrants are required to use the cards in accordance with specified rules. The only locations these cards can be used at are bodegas, supermarkets, convenience stores, and grocery stores. An affidavit attesting to the fact that migrants will only spend the monies for food and infant necessities must be signed in order for them to continue being eligible for the program. They risk being kicked out of the program if they don’t follow this rule.
The Immediate Response Card program is similar to SNAP, the state’s food stamp program. Lower-class New Yorkers who qualify for SNAP are given a credit card to assist with meal expenses. Funds will also be distributed according to the same scale for the Immediate Response Card.
Depending on the size of the family and whether they make any money, different amounts of money will be available on each card. A family of four, for instance, may make about $1,000 a month, or $35 a day on average, for food expenses. Every 28 days, new cards will be added to the collection.
Similar vouchers were given to city dwellers who were having financial issues last year to help with the cost of holiday feasts.
MoCaFi’s CEO and founder, Wole Coaxum, said the organization is thrilled to be working with New York City to provide money to asylum seekers so they may purchase hot, fresh food. He went on to say that MoCaFi seeks to support the expansion of the regional economy while improving financial accessibility for people who have been shut out of regular banking services, such as asylum seekers.
On Friday, city officials declared that all migrant families now staying in hotels will be included in the program if it turns out to be effective. In total, this program would help about 15,000 families.
In addition to giving families access to fresh food and infant supplies of their choosing, the pilot initiative is anticipated to save New York City over $600,000 each month, or more than $7.2 million annually, according to Kayla Mamelak, a representative for Adams.
The city has found it difficult to feed migrant families staying in motels because each meal costs about $11. This has proven problematic because some asylum seekers may be trying to sample food from their home countries, which may be in Africa, Europe, Central and South America, or both.
It was revealed just last month that the contentious business DocGo had wasted thousands of dollars on unsealed meals.
The Post was later informed by migrants that they preferred preparing their own meals in their hotel rooms due to the subpar quality of the meals they were served.
More than 750 rooms for families seeking asylum are available thanks to contracts worth $137 million that The Post recently revealed with city hotels. This information comes after a pre-paid card program was revealed.
The number of asylum seekers in the city has increased to almost 66,000 with the arrival of 1,500 more just last week. An astounding $10 billion is expected to be spent by 2025 on this ongoing catastrophe.