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EA cliff resources, city/town harm, tracking impact. + school meals update, trainings

Our next SNAP Coalition meeting will be next Tuesday, 1/24, from 10-11:30. Agenda to come. Zoom link is here.

3/2 end to extra COVID SNAP (Emergency Allotments): Materials, harm estimates, tracking the impact

Thanks to all who attended the January 10th Coalition meeting on the sunsetting of the SNAP Emergency Allotments. We appreciate how difficult and confusing this will be for your clients and all you are doing to help households maximize their regular SNAP and help them connect to other resources

 

Resources: 

  • Check out DTA’s’ Tool Kit that includes client fliers, forms, sample social media and more

  • See the full EA cliff resources page at Mass.gov/extraCOVIDSNAP

  • We are also including in this email a PDF copy of DTA’s SNAP Medical Expense form (linked on the Mass.gov page on maximizing SNAP) for households to self-declare medical costs for seniors (persons age 60+) and persons with disabilities (adults or children). 

 

Estimates of harm by city/town: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated, on average, the impact of the EA cliff in Massachusetts will be a reduction of $162/month in SNAP per household, $97/month per person. MLRI has used these estimates to approximate the SNAP dollars lost to Massachusetts communities by city/town. Click here to view the approximate amount of SNAP lost in your city/town. Note this is an estimate - it may be slightly high or low, but is useful as a ballpark figure. This data may be particularly useful as context for emergency food providers. 

 

Tracking the Impact of the SNAP EA Cliff: We have created a simple Google EA CLIFF Story form to track the harm/impact of the cliff (no specific information required, do not share confidential information on this form!). Having stories of the hardships households - and community organizations - face due to the loss of SNAP benefits will help us defend against potential federal SNAP cuts in the future, as well as bolster state level efforts to try to respond to the need. We wanted to flag that 16 states sunset their SNAP emergency allotments much earlier, including Kentucky.The Guardian highlighted the impact of these SNAP cuts in its powerful story on 11/22/22. 

 

Upcoming Trainings on Utilities Rights and SNAP 101!

 

January 18th:  Utilities--Advocacy for Low-Income Households in Massachusetts  

Offered by our colleagues at the National Consumer Law Center, this half day training (12:45 to 3:15) walks you through key utility rights for low income households in Massachusetts. Register HERE.

 

January 26th: SNAP Advocacy 101 

MLRI will be offering its annual basic SNAP 101 training for advocates and community organizations new to the SNAP benefits program. This half day training is from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Register HERE. 

 

For all MCLE MLRI trainings, remember to click on the “non-lawyer advocate” to get the lowest rate for the training. All proceeds go to MCLE for their coordination of the training and use of their Boston space. The training is also virtual. 

 

School Meals and Dual Enrollment College Students 

 

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced last week that community colleges and K-12 schools can team up to provide "Dual Enrolled Early College Learners" with free school meals!  USDA approved our state agency's request on December 23rd. Attached is the guidance that DESE sent out to local school districts last week.  


The participating public college cafeterias will prepare and serve the meals, and a local K-12 school district will coordinate to ensure the meals meet NSLP reimbursable meal criteria and other logistics. We’ll share more information as this rolls out, but be sure to check with your local school districts and colleges to see if they will participate in this initiative. DESE anticipates 7,000 dual enrolled students for the upcoming SY23/24. More info on Early College/Dual Enrollment here.