Unexpected windfall for some back to school shoppers

NORWICH – More than two thousand school-aged youths in Chenango County received $200 each for back-to-school clothes and supplies this week from the federal government and billionaire George Soros.

The money was automatically loaded into the state-issued debit cards of individuals who receive Social Services support through temporary assistance and food stamp programs.

Sherburne resident Jeff Verry, who relies on food stamps to feed his household of five, said he had been questioning whether he would be able to afford clothes and supplies for his two high school-aged children this year.

“I went to buy groceries last night and saw my cash balance at $400,” he said. “I’d never seen that before. For me, it was great.”

Verry said if he had to purchase the items, “something else wouldn’t get paid.”

According to Chenango County Department of Social Services Commissioner Bette Osborne, the county received what she called the “surprise” notification of a $400,000 appropriation to the department’s budget on Aug. 10.

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