COLONIE—David Paterson announced a $1 million cash infusion to food banks around the state, which officials say should help them get through the month of April.
Dwarfed by piles of boxes at the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Paterson announced the emergency funding—which he can appropriate immediately, without legislative approval—and said he is making roughly 11,000 additional families eligible for food stamps by raising the maximum level of income.
"It feels very good," Paterson said. "There are so many issues that I would like to have addressed as governor, but I came into this state and the leadership of this state probably at the worst economic time maybe in the history of this state.
"So as a person who has been an advocate for food stamps, as an advocate for a lot of programs that I haven't been able to fund or maintain the way I would like to, it's very painful to have to make these decisions. But these are the decisions of leadership. I signed up for this—I actually signed up to be lieutenant governor—but that not withstanding, I'm making the decisions that I think my colleagues in the Legislature would make, if, in an ironic twist of fate, they would happen to serve in this position."
Paterson's proposed budget increases the amount of money allocated to food banks, one benefit increase amid many cuts.