Important Updates on P-EBT, SNAP, Eviction Defense Resources and MA Hunger Champ Jim McGovern!
We have many important updates to share with you today. In addition, the end of December "informal" SNAP Coalition that scheduled for Tuesday, December 22nd (10 - 11 AM) will happen for those who want to tune in and get more updates. Stay tuned for an eblast zoom link.
More P-EBT funds are coming starting at the end of December!
Again, HUGE news from MA, first in the nation! MA just received approval from federal government to continue P-EBT through the school year 2020-21. More than 500,000 students in MA have gone without P-EBT during October and November Families should start seeing their P-EBT benefits the end of December.
The DTA media advisory is posted HERE. And be sure to check www.MAp-EB.org for updated materials. Note, the October and November P-EBT benefits will be issued end of December in one lump sum - either on the SNAP EBT card, for households on SNAP last time they got P-EBT (June or Sept) or on the P-EBT cards for the households who were issued P-EBT that way (even if the family is now getting SNAP). Hang onto those cards!
Congressman McGovern calls on Biden Admin to appoint a "Hunger Czar"
Massachusetts is phenomenally lucky to have the amazing Jim McGovern on our side. We just want to flag for you today’s media advisory and his letter to the Biden/Harris Transition Team urging them to oppose the Trump Admin proposed rule changes, boost SNAP by 15%, appoint a Hunger Czar and more. This is consistent with many of the recommendations from the MA SNAP Coalition. Please THANK Congressman McGovern for his incredible advocacy to make sure all Massachusetts residents and the nation are safe and hunger free and amplify his request to Biden/Harris.
COVID-19 Eviction Legal Help Project for Massachusetts Residents:
As evictions start to increase, the COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) is scaling up statewide to provide more legal resources to prevent eviction during the pandemic. The project will help tenants facing eviction and owner-occupants who live in 2 and 3-family houses who are filing an eviction. To be eligible for free legal help a household's income must be under 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. CELHP is a joint project between MLRI, the Mass Legal Assistance Corporation and the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project.
To find out where your clients can get legal help, how you can refer tenants, and for more information about tenants' rights and resources go to evictionlegalhelp.org.
Cash Assistance 101 Training tomorrow, Dec 17th, STILL ON – even with snowstorm looming!
MLRI and GBLS are proceeding with the virtual Cash Assistance Training tomorrow AM, 9:30 to 11 AM. The training will be recorded, in case you lose power or need to get out and shovel. If you have not registered, go HERE. If you have registered, look out for an email with a Zoom link.
And don’t forget, SNAP households that lose power for 4 hours or more may be eligible for SNAP replacement benefits for food lost or tossed due to lack of power. More info on SNAP replacement benefits, HERE.
Join your Regional SNAP Coalitions! Central and Western MA also have meetings!
Is your work/address beyond the RT 95 beltway? New York has not succeeded in annexing Central and Western MA. So, in addition to the bi-weekly statewide SNAP Coalitions, we want to be sure that Central and Western MA folks know that there are TWO regional SNAP Coalitions.
· The Central MA SNAP coalition meets the first Thursday for every other month from 10:00 to 11:30. The folllowing info is from Gina Plata-Nino: The Coalition engages in SNAP advocacy and work with the local DTA offices to tackle systemic issues. As a result of COVID, community organizations and the city of Worcester came together to create ways to support the community. The Coalition meets every Tuesday from 9:00 – 10:00 to tackle food insecurity issues. We are a diverse group of organizations from local housing authorities, school districts, food pantries to local funders, all working together to tackle food insecurity. We deal with policy, creating innovative projects, identifying sources of funding to support these efforts, engaging in leveraging resources in an equitable matter, and uplifting the voices of people with lived experience. Contact Gina Plata-Nino at Central West Justice Center to join: email@example.com
· The Western MA SNAP Coalition meets periodically, scheduled by the Food Bank of Western MA. Megan Shuck at FBWM coordinates this Coalition, has a SNAP Eblast distribution list and the meetings often include local elected officials, DTA staff and FRAC as well their meetings. Contact Megan to join: firstname.lastname@example.org
SNAP Career and Technical Education (CTE) Academy for 2-year colleges.
Miriam Kaufman, DTA SNAP ET guru, asked us to share this important update for you to share with local colleges: The Seattle Jobs Initiative’s (SJI) Student-Centered Design (SCD) team is accepting applications for the national 2021 Benefits for Success CTE Academy. The Academy is a one-year hands-on learning and design project for community and technical college programs, and it is free for colleges to participate! The team will work with colleges to support students needing better access to benefits and supports to stay enrolled, during this pandemic and in the future – including materials, toolkits, technical assistance, research and more. .
The SJI Student-Centered Design team is currently accepting applications from colleges to take part in this project! Applications are due December 18. All the details, plus the application form, can be found on our website: www.
Mass AGO Guidance on photo IDs and food pantries posted:
We’ve uploaded the recent guidance from the MA Attorney General’s Office - urging food pantries to stop asking for photo IDs and SSN - to the THIS webpage so that you have it handy. Please continue to let MLRI know if you see problems at the local level. Huge thanks to the MA AGO, the four MA food banks who have been involved in and supportive of this guidance and to MLRI’s AmeriCorps Member, Aparna Raghu who did all the hard work tracking down the food pantry policies that triggered this guidance.