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FoodSNAP's Blog Archive for October 2014

The latest information on SNAP/ Food Stamp advocacy in Massachusetts.
As Coalition members likely know by now, DTA has abandoned it's "case-based" system in favor of a "task-based" system.  The new "Business Process Redesign" started Monday, Oct 27th.  Today is DAY 4. Not surprisingly, there have been some systems problems. BEACON shut downs on Monday and Tuesday, Verizon deactivating lines of local office directors, long wait times and disconnects.  We are hoping this is temporary - but we need to know what you are experiencing on the ground.
The NEXT Boston SNAP Coalition Meeting is Tuesday, October 28th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House (6th Floor)

The SNAP Coalition AGENDA will include:
  • Review of DTA's major "Business Process Redesign" (BPR) which goes into effect on Monday, Oct 27th. See DTA Operations Memo 2014-66 for more information. Bring any questions you may have - this will be Day 2 of BPR
DTA's extreme implementation of it's DOR wage match policy has reached new lows. In addition to many erroneous wage matches/SNAP terminations based on non-countable work study, VISTA, SCSEP income for seniors - we have recently seen a large number of SNAP cases involving earnings of school age children!
This email is to let you know about four important upcoming events end of October and mid-November. Mark your calendars!  
October 28th SNAP Coalition Meeting in Boston 
Tuesday, October 28th
10:00 AM - Noon, St Francis House, Boston
We will sent out an agenda separately.  Mark your calendar for this important Coalition meeting. 
AARP and FRAC have just announced the release of a new "tool kit" to help connect more seniors to SNAP benefits and combat food insecurity.  The press release with links to the tool kit is below - check it out!
USDA recently posted the state-by-state SNAP "timeliness processing" data for FFY 2013 (that's federal fiscal year for Oct 1, 2012 to Sept 31, 2013). 
Have you heard from Massachusetts SNAP recipients about local stores/corner markets that have STOPPED accepting their EBT benefits? In the past month, we have become aware of a few stores that announced they no longer participate in EBT, and put up signs on their front doors or counters including a Cambridge fish monger (who sold other foods) store and a Portuguese food store on the South Shore.
On October 27, 2014 DTA is implementing a change away from a "case management" system to a "first available worker" task-based system. This is a major part of DTA's "Business Practice Redesign", which started in early 2014 with the roll out of Electronic Document Management (centralized document processing in Taunton). The new phone and case manager task system is the next step. DTA has not shared many details but here is what we know
Last Friday, September 26th, we lost an amazing and tireless anti-poverty, anti-hunger advocate: Betty Reid Mandell. For those of you who had the good fortune to work with Betty and/or be a student of hers at Bridgewater State College, you will remember her as an phenomenally kind, thoughtful, informed and compassionate woman who believed deeply in the dignity and rights of all human beings.