NYC Mayor Eric Adams DEFENDS $53 million pre-paid food card handouts to migrants and claims the $1,000-a-month cards will help taxpayers because city will ‘save money on delivery’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched a defense of his new $53 million program that would give prepaid food cards to migrants, saying it would save food delivery companies money.
The mayor received angry backlash for the show, from everyone from his rival on the migrant crisis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to rapper and native New Yorker 50 Cent.
Speaking at the state legislature in Albany on Wednesday on what is known as ‘Tin Cup Day’ where mayors make funding requests, Adams again insisted the cards would cut spending and claimed his critics lied about the program.
“So we’re going to save money on delivery, we’re going to save money on people wasting food, and this is a pilot project that we’re going to use that’s going to save us $6.7 million a year,” Adams said.
He previously said the project would save the city $600,000 a month, or $7.2 million a year.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched a defense of his new $53 million program that would give prepaid food stamps to migrants, saying it would save food delivery companies money
“And if the pilot turns out to be successful, we’re not just going to expand it with the migrants and asylum seekers, we’re going to try to do the expansion throughout the whole system – to try to find smarter, more cost-effective ways to deal with this crisis that fell into our lap,” Adams added.
The Democratic mayor also wanted to counter what he called “misinformation” about the program.
“We don’t give people American Express cards,” Adams said. “We found that the food delivery service that we set up during the emergency – we could find a better way to do it in our belief that we wanted to cut 20 percent of the migrant costs”
‘So we have a pilot project with 500 people that we give them food cards, so instead of a debit card, instead of delivering food, and having people eat food – we’ve seen how food is wasted – can they now get their own food, it’s going to cost $12 a day,’ Adams added.
It was revealed last week that migrants housed in one of the city’s hotels would receive prepaid cards to buy food and baby supplies, instead of the city providing meals that the migrants often did not want.
The plan drew ire from many across the country, including native New Yorkers like rapper 50 Cent.
Texas Gov. Abbott, who has been at war with Democratic big-city mayors and transported thousands of them from his own border, slammed the proposal on Sunday.
‘It sounds like madness is behind it because it’s really offensive. This may be the most reprehensible thing I have seen take place in the last 48 hours,” Abbott said.
The Democratic mayor also wanted to counter what he called “misinformation” about the program
It was revealed last week that migrants housed in one of the city’s hotels will receive prepaid cards to buy food and baby supplies, instead of the city providing meals that the migrants often did not want.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continued his long-running feud with New York Mayor Eric Adams over the disaster at the border, calling his plan to give migrants in the city prepaid credit cards “insane.”
Abbott’s office claimed that Texas has sent about 37,600 migrants to New York City since August 2022, more than any other city
“What’s going on in New York is outrageous, and Americans across the country are angry not only about what’s going on in New York, but the underlying cause of it, which is Joe Biden’s open border policy,” he told Fox Business.
Abbott’s office claimed that since August 2022, Texas has sent about 37,600 migrants to New York City, more than any other city.
It is one of the more than 150,000 that have arrived in the city from all points under the Biden administration.
The pilot program is being rolled out at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, with 500 families involved, The New York Post reported. A family of four would get a card with $1,000 a month, equivalent to $35 a day.
Those selected will be given cards that can only be used at bodegas, supermarkets and delis. Migrants must sign an affidavit promising to use the cards only for food and baby supplies, or else have them cut off. It is unclear how New York City will know if they are being used in bodegas as intended.
The amount on each card will depend on individual circumstances. It’s unclear how city officials will check if cards are being misused — or whether the scheme will exacerbate the crisis by encouraging other migrants to head to the Big Apple in hopes of receiving free money.
A family of four can be provided with almost $1,000 each month, which is $35 a day for food for the four.
Right now, each migrant meal costs $11, so feeding a family of four for a day can cost up to $132.
Cards will be refilled every 28 days.
Abbott, who has been at war with Democratic mayors of big cities and transported thousands of them from his own border, rejected the proposal on Sunday.
Adams estimated the $53 million scheme would save the city $600,000 a month, or $7.2 million annually, drawing outrage from many across the country.
Migrants are seen outside The Roosevelt Hotel on January 9. Families living in the hotel will take part in the prepaid card trial scheme, where they buy food instead of getting meals.
Migrants arrive at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York on January 26
The hotel has been used as a migrant shelter since May 2023
The scheme was used last year for residents of public housing, so they could buy food for the holidays.
“Not only will this provide families with the ability to purchase fresh food for their culturally relevant diets and the baby supplies of their choice, but the pilot program is expected to save New York City more than $600,000 per month, or more than $7, 2 million a year,’ Kayla Mamelak, Adams’ spokeswoman, said.
The program is run by a company founded by a former Wall Street financier, Wole Coaxum, called MoCaFi.
Its website describes MoCaFi as “a financial services platform for the 110 million Americans facing economic hardship and no path to better circumstances.”
Coaxum said: ‘MoCaFi looks forward to working with New York City to disburse funds for asylum seekers to purchase fresh, hot food.
Adams, the mayor of New York, is seen on January 25. He pleaded with Joe Biden for federal help to deal with the migrant crisis in the city
Those selected will be given cards that can only be used at bodegas, supermarkets and delis
“MoCaFi’s goal is to expand access to financial resources for individuals who are excluded from banking, such as asylum seekers, while helping the local economy.”
If the program is a success, the city will expand it to the estimated 15,000 migrant families staying in hotels.
About 70,000 migrants were bussed or flown to New York City in 2023, putting extreme strain on the Big Apple’s resources.
Abbott began sending migrants to NYC and other Democratic cities that bill themselves as “havens” for border crossers to show them how much pressure the crisis has piled on border states.
His plan appears to have worked — with Democratic lawmakers now taking a much tougher stance on the crisis and President Biden himself vowing to take stronger action to tackle it.