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Coalition Tues, public charge sign on by 10/20, PEBT to SNAP, + Afghan evacuees update

 
We have a special Coalition meeting on Tuesday 10/12 from 10-11:30. The agenda will include:
 
1. information from GBLS about how families can access free or subsidized child care.  
2. Mass Cultural Council & overview of the EBT Card to Culture program (including PEBT families through at least end of 2021!)
3. DHE outreach to college students about SNAP
4. EBT card online purchasing check in
5. MassHealth SNAP "checkbox" applications. 
 
Please join us! Zoom link here. 
 
A few other pieces of information before the long weekend:
 
Public Charge organizational comment sign on letter - sign on by October 20!
 
The Biden Administration published an "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (ANPRM) asking for feedback to help guide the development of a new regulation on public charge. The MA Protecting Immigrant Families (MA PIF) organizations -  MLRI, Mass Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition, Health Care for All and Health Care Advocates - will be submitting detailed legal comments to the Biden Administration. 
 
What you can do: The National Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) is encouraging organizations to sign on to a national comment letter by October 20, 2021. We encourage you to sign on! Here is the link to the PIF comment and to the form to sign on as an organization. Organizational sign-ons are due by October 20, 2021. For more information, see this overview from MA PIF.
 
Connect families who got P-EBT with SNAP!
 
P-EBT is currently not being issued to any families or students in Massachusetts. DTA is working on getting approval from USDA on how P-EBT will work with the 2021-2022 school year. A reminder that P-EBT for school kids is for kids who are learning remotely due to the pandemic and who, if they weren't remote, would be getting free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program (currently all MA school kids get free school meals due to pandemic waivers). 
 
We know there are tens of thousands of families who got PEBT in the past and are eligible for but not getting SNAP. The Shah Family Foundation and DTA have updated these fantasstic materials to try to connect these families with SNAP! Please share these fliers in 11 languages widely!
 
Helpful update on Afghan evacuees and Federal Benefits

Recently Congress expanded eligibility for federal benefits for Afghans who enter the US with humanitarian parole, by authorizing this group to get the same services as refugees. This means that Afghans with humanitarian parole and refugees are treated the same by the SNAP (and TAFDC) rules - they are eligible immediately without any 5 year wait. If you are working with this population and have any questions, let us know!