The debt ceiling & SNAP, GBFB survey on food insecurity


Our next Coalition meeting will be Tuesday June 27th from 10-11:30.

The Debt Ceiling Agreement: Harms to SNAP/TANF

Thank you very much to everyone who called your member and was vocal in opposition to cuts to SNAP or TANF. We are extremely disheartened and frustrated to report that the debt ceiling agreement does in fact harm both SNAP food benefits and TANF cash benefits (TAFDC in MA). 

Among other things, the agreement (if it passes in its current form) will - over a period of time - expand the SNAP time limit (the so-called work requirements) to include folks ages 50 through 54. 

First, we want you to know that no person in Massachusetts is currently at risk of losing their SNAP due to the harmful 3-month time limit. The time limit has been suspended since April 2020 due to the pandemic.The impact of the time limit here in MA and its restart will play out over time, and we will keep the Coalition updated. We do not want folks to worry their SNAP will end due to the time limit or incorrectly think that they should not apply for SNAP. 

Second, MLRI is a resource if you are hearing from reporters about the debt ceiling agreement. Let Vicky or Pat know if it would be helpful to talk or if you need any technical assistance. 

Finally, we want to be very clear: SNAP food benefits and TANF cash benefits are critical anti-poverty programs crucial to people’s health and wellbeing. By agreeing to expand harsh work requirements, the Biden Administration and Congress are resolving the debt ceiling crisis on the backs of people simply trying to make ends meet and put food on the table. We are distressed to hear the Biden Administration and some Congressional leaders praising the debt-ceiling deal as a reasonable compromise without acknowledging its damage to vulnerable people. 

Please urge your Representative and Senators Warren and Markey to call out the harm to the programs people with low incomes need to survive. And, please thank and elevate Congressman McGovern for his statements on the debt ceiling agreement

Here is the full statement from MLRI and also from EMPath on the debt ceiling agreement. 

Greater Boston Food Bank Documents Persistence in Food Insecurity in MA  

On Tuesday, our partners at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) released a report documenting that the public health crisis of hunger persists in Massachusetts notwithstanding the end of the COVID public health emergency: Opportunities to Improve Food Equity and Access in Massachusetts: Ending Hunger - Together. According to GBFB’s press release, “Among other key findings, the study estimates that 1 in 3 Massachusetts adults continued to struggle with food insecurity in 2022, with approximately 1.8 million adults reporting household food insecurity the same as in 2021. At the time this survey was conducted between November 2022 and January 2023, respondents were asked about their experiences with food insecurity during the previous year. Since that period, its estimated the rates are conservative given the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has ended, which also concluded extra benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and reduced the administrative burden of re-enrolling in the program. On the horizon, the current debt ceiling negotiations include additional cuts to SNAP and cash assistance which further threaten the food assistance landscape.”  Read press release HERE.