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Coalition Agenda 9/28; MA Senate Victory on School Meal Debt Legislation: Last Call for Organizational signers on Letter to Congress - COB today!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow, September 28th for our regular SNAP Coalition meeting from 10 to 11:30 AM.  Here’s the ZOOM link.   

The Coalition AGENDA will include

·         DTA updates including SNAP October 1 increase; impact of families losing unemployment (PUC and PEUC) after Labor Day, P-EBT, etc 

·         Federal legislative updates  

·         State Legislative updates including

o   School meal debt (see below)

o   Public hearing before Jt Committee on Children and Families on September 29th on key Coalition priorities (you can still submit written testimony) 

o   Upcoming hearing on MA Hunger Free Campus legislation

·         Mail delivery and access issues (The Open Door)

·         Childcare access for low-income househouldds (GBLS)

·         Local updates 

School meal debt legislation clears MA Senate!

Last week, during the Senate formal session on 9/23, the MA Senate unanimously passed H.3999, An Act to Promote School Nutrition, filed by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem and Rep Andy Vargas. (The MA House passed the same bill end of July) and we hope it heads to the Gov’s desk soon. See 9/24/21 CommonWealth Magazine article HERE

H.3999 will prevent local schools from putting children in the middle of meal debt discussion: schools are prohibited from tossing out a child’s hot meal for a cold sandwich; speaking with children about meal debt; denying students or their siblings participation in graduation, field trips or other school activities, adding extra fees onto school meal debt.  Here’s MLRI’s statement and link to our report.

The bill also includes language to require schools with 50% or more low-income children to seriously consider the CEP (community eligibility provision). If the child nutrition provisions in the Build Back Better Act pass in Congress (see below), we hope to revisit this issue and work with Project Bread on universal free school meals in MA. We will keep you posted once this bill formally reaches the Gov's desk. 

Deadline TODAY for state and national orgs to sign onto letter to Congress 

See FRAC alert below. Please join MA groups and hundreds of orgs around the nation.  Please ADD your organization onto this important letter before close of business TODAY!  Passage of these provisions in Congress means MA gets a heck of a lot closer to universal free school meals. 

Below is the current list of MA orgs as of 11 AM today. Add your org to this important letter NOW!

  • Children's HealthWatch
  • Family Voices
  • Franklin County Community Meals Program
  • Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Tufts University
  • Healthy Chelsea
  • Jewish Family & Children's Service Greater Boston
  • Massachusetts Farm to School
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • Project Bread
  • Tenants Development Corporation
  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
  • Three Sisters Garden Project
  • Urban Action Institute



---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Ellen Teller <>
Date: Mon, Sep 27, 2021 at 11:01 AM
Subject: LAST CALL: DEADLINE TODAY - Letter Urging Nutrition Investments in Reconciliation

Build Back Better Act Advances in House
Floor Action Possible This Week
Last Call to Sign Organizational Letter Supporting
Nutrition and Anti-Poverty Provisions

Deadline: Action needed today, September 27, COB 

The Build Back Better Act, was reported out of the House Budget Committee this weekend and can move to the floor as early as this week. In a recent interview with ABC This Week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that it “seems self-evident” that the final price tag will be reduced (below the current $3.5 trillion) after negotiations with moderates. Join hundreds of organizations that have signed a letter to congressional leadership and the Biden administration, urging them to protect the overall Build Back Better Act, especially the anti-hunger and anti-poverty provisions.  

Action Needed:  

1) if you haven’t already signed the letter, do so today, and  

2) make sure other organizations in your state weigh-in to ensure that children have the nutrition they need to grow and thrive. 

View the letter and add your organization
Please note —organizations only.
Deadline: Today, Monday, September 27, COB  


The House Build Back Better Act is a historic investment in critically-needed anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs that would ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round during and after the impacts from the pandemic. This is a critical time to act — the bill can come up on the House floor as early as this week and efforts to shrink the size and scope of the package are occurring early this week.  A reduction in the package could severely reduce the effectiveness and impact of the nutrition and anti-poverty provisions. We need Congress to hear from stakeholders from across the country – and in every community – that support for low-income children and their families is non-negotiable.  

Thank you for your support!  

Questions? Email Ellen Teller (, Monica Gonzales (, and Robert Campbell (