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Federal and state nutrition budget update, and special thanks to Child Health Watch

The next Food SNAP Coalition meeting is this coming Tuesday, February 28th from 10 to 12 at St Francis House in Boston.  The agenda will include an update on the SNAP Web units, the state EBT Commission deliberations, and local SNAP access issues. We will also be will be discussing the federal and state budget deliberations before Congress and the Massachusetts Legislature.

Federal and State Budget Updates

1. Child Health Watch physicians and researchers urge Agriculture Committee to support SNAP funding:

Thanks to our Massachusetts friends at Child Health Watch, here's a link to their excellent letter of 2/17/12 in support of SNAP funding, signed by eight physicians and researchers. The letter focuses on the importance of the LiHEAP initiative and SNAP (a similar letter was sent to Senate chairs).  As Coalition members know, the Massachusetts "H-EAT" policy was created in recognition of the tough choices faced by families seeking to both heat and eat and has helped simplify verifications for many households and improved the benefit package and provided families, elders and persons with disabilities access to other LiHEAA benefits. H-EAT is now embraced by 14 other states. Here's a link to a FRAC fact sheet on the H-EAT issue: [Editor's Note: Link is no longer active]

NOW is the time to contact your member of Congress and urge their support for full SNAP and nutrition program funding!! To find your Representative by your zip code, go to:

2. FRAC Analysis of President Obama's FFY2013 Budget Request for Nutrition Funding: 
As noted by our national colleagues at FRAC, "President Obama’s FY2013 budget protects and proposes to strengthen the nation’s nutrition safety net for the many Americans who continue to struggle with hunger, lost jobs, and reduced wages. Chief among his proposals are: restoration of cuts to SNAP (food stamps) benefits made in the 2010 child nutrition bill and scheduled to take place in FY 2013; and the suspension for a fiscal year of time limits on benefits for certain unemployed, working-age, low-income adults without dependents." 

Here's the FRAC analysis of elements of the President's budget that drill down on specifics for SNAP, Child Nutrition, Food Commodity and related programs:  To get direct e-alerts on the federal budget and nutrition programs, sign up for these at  

3. Massachusetts FY2013 budget deliberations and Food SNAP Coalition priorities: 
The Massachusetts Legislature has begun its deliberations on the FY2013 state budget. (For MLRI's detailed analysis of safety-net programs in the Governor's FY2013 proposed budget, go to:  At the January meeting of the Food SNAP Coalition, members voted to support the DTA union request (SEIU) for a $10M increase in the DTA worker line item to assist with the surge in the SNAP caseload. Here's a link to our letter to House Ways and Means: Coalition members are also urging the Massachusetts Legislature to support full funding for the Elder Nutrition program, Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP) and state supplement to the WIC program. 

NOW is the time to communicate your budget priorities to members of House Ways and Means and your area representative. To find your legislator, go to:

The Joint Committee on Ways and Means is presently holding hearings on the FY2013 budget around the state. For a schedule of hearing dates, locations and topics, look for the Ways and Means hearings listed at: