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Food SNAP Coalition AGENDA for Jan 25th

The next Food SNAP Coalition meeting is Tuesday, January 25th from 10 to Noon. The Coalition meeting will be held at ABCD on 178 Tremont Street, 3rd Floor (this is a change from our usual location). ABCD is right across the street from the Boylston Street T stop (green line) and right around the corner from the Chinatown T stop (orange line).

As discussed at the November meeting, we have planned a robust discussion on proposals seeking to restrict food stamp/SNAP benefit purchases (recently ignited by the NYC waiver request to USDA on sodas). We will be joined at the meeting by Dr. Caroline Kistin, pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. Dr Kistin will be sharing in the discussion regarding from the public health point of view and as a pediatrician. Below are various articles you can read to familiarize yourself with this topic. Please come to share your views and learn from others.

The Coalition AGENDA will include the following:

* The issues and impact of restricting FS/SNAP recipient food purchases - discussion with Dr. Caroline Kistin
* The FY2012 state budget - (Gov's House 1 budget is released on 1/26 - what we know about the revenue picture and what might be on the chopping block, next steps)
* Current FS/SNAP policy items: DTA guidance on verifications, issues around verification of earned income and past jobs; Virtual Gateway FS/SNAP applications and expedited processing; status of UI exhaustee waiver; college student eligibility
* How clients can use the "My Accounts Page" and the DTA "Interactive Voice Response" number to get benefits and case status information
* School meals and direct certification of kids in FS/SNAP households - update on discussions with Dept of Early and Secondary Ed
* USDA Program Access Review (thanks to those of you who sent in survey responses to MLRI and/or USDA)
* Local reports on FS/SNAP outreach efforts, access barriers, state policy priorities for 2011
* Other items/announcements from Coalition members.

Materials for food stamp/SNAP purchase restrictions:

1. An article from today's NYT about Walmart's plan to reduce sugar, fat and sodium in its house brands, to push its suppliers to do the same, and to lower prices on fresh produce and whole wheat products:

2. A USDA analysis from a few years ago on the implications (and significant challenges) of restricting the SNAP benefit.

3. A few articles about NYC's request for a waiver from USDA to SNAP restrict sales of sugar-sweetened beverages:

REMINDER: Tuesday's Coalition Meeting is from 10 to NOON at ABCD, 178 Tremont Street in Boston, NOT St Francis House.