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FoodSNAP's Blog

The latest information on SNAP/ Food Stamp advocacy in Massachusetts.

Policy Updates on H-EAT and Voided PR Birth Certificates

1. Heat and Eat (H-EAT) update: Twice a year, DTA reviews the FS/SNAP caseload to identify SNAP households that are not receiving the heating/cooling standard utility allowance (SUA) in the calculation of their SNAP benefits. The heating/cooling SUA, added to rent or mortgage, can result in higher SNAP benefits.

Next FS Coalition Meeting - Tuesday, October 26th - 10 to Noon; ERS report

This is a reminder that the next Boston meeting of the Food SNAP Coalition meeting is Tuesday, October 26th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, 6th Floor.

A tentative AGENDA includes the following:

* Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Update on efforts to pass a child nutrition bill during "lame duck" session but protect SNAP funding from being raided.

Identity verification at food pantries (TEFAP food)

As Coalition members know, over the past year we have received complaints throughout the state that a number of local food pantries were requiring households to produce photo IDs as a condition of food distribution. The demand for a photo ID was affecting a wide range of low income persons - both U.S. citizens and immigrants alike - who lacked a photo ID due to homelessness, theft, domestic violence, fear of showing expired documents, or simply lack of any photo ID even though they had other forms of identification.

Update on Required Proofs (Verifications ) for FS/SNAP Households and Sample Forms

At the October 6th Western Massachusetts Food SNAP Coalition meeting, a number of community groups noted that SNAP/Food Stamp applicants are still being asked for proof of shelter expenses (rent or home ownership) even though the shelter cost information provided by the household is not questionable. A number of Coalition members also noted that the Virtual Gateway SNAP application has no question that allows a household to claim shelter costs, child care or other expenses and asked for a sample form clients could use.

USDA grants 3 Month Extension on SNAP Utility Allowance, NO reduction in benefits!!

Dear Food SNAP Coalition members:

Child Nutrition and SNAP cut - Keep the pressure on Massachusetts delegation!

Below is an email from the FRAC with an update on the proposed cuts to SNAP to fund Child Nutrition reauthorization. Members of the Food SNAP Coalition discussed this issue in detail yesterday, agreeing we need to keep our delegation strong "against robbing Peter to pay Paul!" Over 106 members of Congress signed onto Congressman Jim McGovern's August 13th letter urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to find another way to fund the Child Nutrition reauthorization without cutting SNAP funding.

Food SNAP Coalition AGENDA - Tuesday, Sept 28th - Update on SNAP benefit amounts

TO: Food SNAP Coalition Members
FR: Pat Baker

The September Coalition meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, September 28th, 10 AM to Noon at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, Boston (6th Floor).

The AGENDA will include the following (as well as issues and announcements from Coalition members present):

Upcoming Training, meetings, student resource guide and more!

Here's some important events and resource materials for your anti-hunger work:

Upcoming FS/SNAP Training on 10/13: ABCD and MLRI are hosting a training October 13th on the nuts and bolts of the food stamp/SNAP program. Attached is a flier announcing the event and registration information (through ABCD).

DTA to close two local offices - North Adams and Milford

Below is an email communication from Commissioner Kehoe sent earlier today announcing the closing of two local DTA offices - North Adams and Milford. If your organization works with low income clients living in the Central and Western Mass communities served by these two DTA offices, it is important to discuss with DTA ways to ensure clients continue to have access to DTA staff and services. The Commissioner's email indicates that DTA is going to explore satellite offices in these two areas.

Upcoming FS/SNAP and Other Public Benefits Trainings for 2010/11

I. MLRI's Annual "Basic Benefits Training" Series:

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