This is just a brief reminder of the SNAP Coalition meeting tomorrow and other important updates. NOTE – there is NO Coalition on August 24th. Next one is September 28th.
SNAP Coalition Meeting
Tuesday, August 10th from 10-11:30. The agenda will include:
- Federal updates
- State budget and legislative updates (cash grant increase and SNAP Gap victory in FY22 budget, school meals legislation)
- Cash benefits updates including ARPA-funded special payment for TAFDC children and pregnant women, clothing allowance and 20% boostt (see more below).
- Planning for the sunsetting of Unemployment benefits for 300,000+ residents. A study released 8/55/2022 estimates that 314,097 Massachusetts workers will be left with $0 in unemployment after losing PUA/PEUC.
- Review of the SNAP math/income deductions - if 15% boost to SNAP sunsets without a replacement boost
- SNAP & college students as school returns end of August (what proofs are/are not needed for students to get SNAP)
- Local DTA Office Access – update and discussion re what you are seeing locally
- Child tax credit updates/resources
- Summer P-EBT for students who apply for NSLP before September 8th
Project Bread Study on Food Insecurity and SNAP Barriers and SNAP Gap!
Last week, Project Bread released a powerful report Barriers to SNAP and the barriers that disproportionately oppressed communities in Boston experience in accessing food. As Project Bread notes, “This research will be a critical tool as we advocate at the state and federal levels for prioritization and expansion of important food resources like SNAP…demonstrating the gaps in accessing food assistance programs, and highlights how racist structures and policies affect access to SNAP.”
Project Bread is also using this report as a call to action to keep on the pressure to pass H.1290/S.761 to Close the #SNAPGap when the Legislature reconvenes in the fall. You can take immediate action on the SNAP Gap and contact your State Rep or Senator through their portal HERE. Thank you Project Bread!
Important Cash Assistance Updates
Attached is DTA’s Summer Advisory sent to all DTA Advisory Boards. As folks know, DTA administers both SNAP and critical cash assistance benefits for incomeless and low-income families with kids and certain older adults and persons with disabilities. We wanted to highlight the following:
1. There is a 20% increase in the monthly TAFDC and EAEDC grants, thanks to advocacy efforts of the Lift Our Kids during the FY22 state budget. Huge thanks to State Senator Sal DiDomenico and State Rep Marjorie Decker for this important victory!
2. Families who receive or apply for TAFDC will get the September clothing allowance of $350 per child. This also boosts the TAFDC gross income test for September.
3. This month, the Baker Administration is issuing a one-time special ARPA-funded TAFDC payment of $665 per child/pregnant woman for roughly 42K children and pregnant women who receive TAFDC.
Remember, families and individuals can apply for cash benefits through DTAConnect or calling the DTA Assistance Line. We very much appreciate DTA’s continued newsletters keeping everyone informed the many changes and the very important cash assistance benefits being made available to families right now.
National report on history of racism in the TANF program
We want to be sure you see this powerful report from CBPP (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities), TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance, highlighting “a program whose history is steeped in racist ideas and policies that particularly strip Black women of their dignity.” This is very well researched and written. We encourage all Coalition members to take a look at it.
Help Needed to get MA Senate to Pass School Meal Debt Legislation
As noted in last week’s eblast, we are thrilled the MA House passed Reps Vargas and Garballey’s bill, H.3999, that will 1) prevent school districts from punishing children who have meal debt by tossing hot meals, barring graduation or school activities or adding on fees to meal debt and 2) require schools and school districts eligible for the universal free school meal option (CEP) to participate unless they take steps to opt out because of the financial burden. This impacts school districts with 50% or more “identified student percentage.”
The bill is now in the Senate and we are hopeful for passage soon. Here’s the blog posting from MLRI and blog posting from Project Bread. Please call your MA Senator and urge them to support passage of this bill during “informal” sessions in August!
Summer P-EBT for families who apply for free or reduced-price meals by 9/8
Are you working with families who are enrolling their children in school this fall? If they also apply for free or reduced-price meal status this fall by September 8th, they can get retroactive P-EBT for July and August! While all schools will be providing free school meals this fall, families who fill out a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) by September 8thwill get retroactive summer P-EBT benefits as well. This may not be intuitive since school meals are free, so please make sure families know about this! Note, this is for K-12 students who did not already receive their summer P-EBT in July and August but apply through their schools for free/reduced price status by 9/8!
Charge forth, and stay safe!