New York City Introduces $53M Initiative To Distribute Prepaid Credit Cards To Migrant Families

Jamiesfeast – Mayor Eric Adams’ administration will soon distribute prepaid credit cards to migrant families who are being housed in hotels in New York City, according to The Post’s sources.

According to city records, a pilot program worth $53 million, managed by Mobility Capital Finance, a New Jersey company, aims to assist asylum seekers arriving at the Roosevelt Hotel by providing them with cash to purchase food.

According to City Hall, the initiative will begin by providing a new food service for a group of 500 migrant families currently staying in short-term hotels.

Migrants must sign an affidavit pledging to use the cards exclusively for purchasing food and baby supplies at bodegas, grocery stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores. Failure to adhere to this agreement will result in their removal from the program.

The Immediate Response Card initiative is similar to the state’s SNAP program, commonly known as the food stamp program. Just like SNAP, it offers a credit card to lower-income New Yorkers to help them cover the expense of meals. The funds provided through this initiative are determined based on the same scale as SNAP.

The amount on each card will vary depending on the size of the family and whether any income is coming in, as stated in the contract details. For example, a family of four could receive nearly $1,000 per month, equivalent to $35 per day for food. The cards will be refilled every 28 days.

Last year, residents facing financial difficulties in city housing were provided with similar cards to cover the cost of their holiday dinners.

“MoCaFi CEO and founder Wole Coaxum expressed enthusiasm about collaborating with New York City to distribute funds to asylum seekers for the purpose of purchasing nourishing, hot meals. He emphasized MoCaFi’s objective of broadening financial opportunities for individuals marginalized from the banking system, including asylum seekers, with the added benefit of stimulating the local economy.”

Officials announced on Friday that if the program proves successful, it will be extended to include all migrant families currently residing in hotels, which amounts to approximately 15,000 families.

According to Kayla Mamelak, spokesperson for Adams, the pilot program will not only allow families to buy fresh food and baby supplies that align with their cultural preferences, but it is also projected to save New York City over $600,000 per month, amounting to more than $7.2 million annually.

The city has been spending approximately $11 per meal to provide food for migrant families staying in hotels. This has been a persistent issue, as some asylum seekers from different countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Europe may have a particular craving for the flavors of their home countries.

Just last month, the controversial company DocGo wasted thousands of dollars on uneaten meals.

In the days following, migrants candidly admitted to The Post that they preferred preparing their own meals in their hotel rooms due to the subpar quality of the provided meals.

The Post recently reported on a pre-paid card program that has been launched. This news follows the revelation of $137 million worth of contracts with city hotels, which will provide over 750 rooms to asylum seekers with families.

Over 66,000 asylum seekers have found shelter in the city, with an additional 1,500 arrivals just last week. This ongoing crisis is predicted to incur a staggering $10 billion in costs by 2025.

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