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Important DTA benefit resources + trainings!

Adding to the email Pat sent earlier this afternoon with a host of important resources and training opportunities! As always, let us know if you have issues or questions. We are striving to keep information up to date on our google doc. 
Fliers & information on TAFDC and EAEDC
Thanks to our colleagues at Greater Boston Legal Services who have created simple materials on accessing cash assistance benefits during COVID-19! Please see these 1 page fliers on TAFDC and on EAEDC. GBLS also created pages on Mass Legal Help on TAFDC and EAEDC. These excellent resources are also posted on the google doc. 
New video on how to apply for DTA benefits - in Spanish!
Northwestern University released a study showing rates of food insecurity for families have tripled during COVID-19. Getting the word out on SNAP is key in fighting food insecurity! Click here to view a 1 minutes and 25 second long video on DTA benefits during COVID-19 - including information about how to apply. Click here to view the video in Spanish. Videos produced by MLRI and the Massachusetts Websites Project, with the support of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.


Status of operations & contact information for SNAP outreach partners

Thank you to DTA for compiling this spreadsheet with a list of all the MA SNAP outreach partners (community organizations who contract with DTA to do application assistance). Please let us know if any of this information needs to be updated. SNAP outreach partners are a great way to connect low - income households to SNAP, especially for those who face barriers applying on their own (eg. older adults).  


Public charge and rules on SNAP eligiblity for immigrant families  
The Urban Institute released a paper this month sharing that immigrant families continued to avoid enrolling in public benefits in 2019 - potentially exacerbating harm during COVID-19. We are very worried that many Massachusetts immigrant families are foregoing benefits due to fear. MLRI has materials on immigrant eligiblity rules for SNAP in the SNAP Advocacy Guide, including this chart of eligibility rules for SNAP and cash assistance based on immigration status. For fliers on SNAP and public charge in 8 languages, click here. We encourage community groups to share this information broadly so that families can make informed decisions about whether or not to apply for SNAP. Please let us know if you are working with families who share they are afraid to apply for benefits. 

UnidosUS & FRAC Webinar Thursday @ 1 PM (tomorrow!): SNAP and COVID-19: What's at Stake for Latinos

COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented nationwide health and economic crisis for children and families that has highlighted the critical role that federal nutrition programs, such as  SNAP, play to help families put food on the table and make ends meet. This webinar will provide participants with an overview of SNAP, discuss how the program impacts Latinos in light of recent congressional and administrative actions, and offer advocacy opportunities to strengthen the program and reduce food insecurity. Register here for the Thursday, May 21, 2020 webinar:
Training for community advocates on family law issues 
Next Wednesday, May 27, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM there will be a virtual Question and Answer session for community advocates and social services providers about restraining orders (209As and 258Es) and family law issues in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more and to register, click here.