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Organizational Sign-on Letter to Congress on CTC and EITC; SNAP skimming Update; MLRI Health Justice Advocate Position

Below are two skimming updates. We are also hoping more MA orgs to sign onto the national sign on letter to Congress on Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax credit. 

 

Add Your Org to National Sign on Letter to Congress on CTC/EITC - by Nov 10th!

Hundreds of state, local and national anti-hunger orgs have already signed on in support urging Congress reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in any end of the year tax package. Below are the 16 MA Orgs that are already signed on- let’s get to 50 MA orgs.

 

  • Springfield Food Policy Council

  • Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath)

  • Marion Institute

  • Worcester County Food Bank

  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

  • The Greater Boston Food Bank

  • The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

  • Americlense Technologies

  • YMCA Southcoast

  • United Way of Central MA

  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

  • DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended), Inc.

  • Children's HealthWatch

  • Boston Medical Center

  • St. Francis House

  • Project Bread

 

Click HERE to see the sign-on letter. And If you've already signed on, please send this alert to 3-5 organizations in your state working to end hunger. Deadline for signing on - Thurs, November 10th. Please join us! 

 

Skimming Update: Urge families to re-PIN their EBT cards in Lawrence area

DTA shared at the last SNAP Coalition meeting, they have been worried about an uptick in the number of SNAP households whose SNAP has been stolen by skimming. As a result,  DTA will be requiring all households who receive SNAP in the Lawrence area to set a new PIN to use their EBT card if they have not received a new card or changed their PIN recently. DTA is doing outreach to SNAP households in the greater Lawrence area. 

 

Action items:

  • If you work with families in Lawrence or in the cities and towns near Lawrence, please let us know!

  • Encourage families you work with to re-PIN their EBT cards ASAP! 

  • Share the attached retailer flier with basic information and DTA’s multilingual resources on how to re-PIN posted here. 

 

Class Action Lawsuit Seeks Restoration of Stolen SNAP Benefits

Over the past few months, thieves have stolen over a million SNAP dollars from thousands of Massachusetts families. Many states have reported a recent dramatic increase in thefts of families’ SNAP after their account information was skimmed. Because of the seriousness of the issue, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation urged USDA to take immediate action to instruct states to restore benefits stolen through skimming and assure states that USDA will cover the cost. So far, USDA has not said it will help states restore the stolen funds, and Massachusetts has not taken any state action to restore stolen SNAP dollars. 

 

As a result, on Friday MLRI filed a lawsuit seeking restoration of stolen SNAP benefits. Here is MLRI's press release and the complaint. Here are powerful quotes from one of our plaintiffs and our colleague, Betsy Gwin:

 

“Losing my SNAP in October put a big hole in my finances,” said Ms. S. “If this happened with my credit or debit card, I would get the money back. I don’t understand why the SNAP program won’t replace the stolen benefits.”

 

“Low-income families count on their SNAP benefits to put food on the table each month,” said Betsy Gwin, staff attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. “When criminals steal families’ SNAP, our federal and state governments must step up to restore the lost benefits.”

 

We encourage organizations to keep track of the stories and contact information for families who come to you sharing that their SNAP was stolen. 

 

MLRI Health Justice Advocate position

MLRI is hiring for an advocate to focus on access to MassHealth and other benefits programs that impact health outcomes for returning citizens/criminal justice-involved (CJI) individuals. This is an exciting opportunity to develop and launch a statewide project that addresses critical, unmet needs impacting the health of this very underserved population. Note -a law degree is not required , but JDs are welcome to apply.See job description here. 

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