The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

P-EBT Updates; Sign on letter to Congress; Immigrant/Benefits Training; addressing photo ID problem at food pantries

We have some important updates on how to PIN the Pandemic EBT cards; reminder on getting your organization’s name onto the national sign-on letter; ensuring local food pantries are not asking for photo IDs or SSNs from families; upcoming Immigrant/Benefits trainings. 

A reminder, the NEXT SNAP Coalition meeting – by Zoom – Tuesday, June 9th at 10 AM. 

NEW P-EBT portal to get child's case number 

Just as a reminder, over 280 MA families (not getting SNAP or DTA cash benefits) were mailed both a special DTA notice with the child's P-EBT Case Number and a separate P-EBT card. Many families continue to struggle with using their cards. Families need the last 4 digits of the Case Number to PIN the card. Many families did not get or do not have the letter now. 

Good news! DTA created a portal on where families can immediately get their child's Case Number by entering the child’s P-EBT card number. Attached is a screen shot of the information displayed when a P-EBT card is entered. Information on how to PIN the P-EBT card once a family has the child's case number is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese from Project Bread. Additional fliers, resources, and social media graphics on 

Currently this portal is only in English - DTA has shared they are planning to translate it. Thank you to DTA for getting this up and running in record time. Attached is more information from DTA. 

Federal SNAP Campaign – Organizational sign on letter deadline June 10th

Rumor is the U.S. Senate may be making decisions soon about the next COVID-19 responsive legislation. Help us make sure it includes investments to ensure its next coronavirus stimulus package maintains vital food assistance for millions of Americans. Please add your organization’s name to the national sign-on letter led by FRAC, Feeding America, and the Center for American Progress. Sign on HERE and forward this to sister orgs too! Deadline is Wednesday, June 10th!

On June 1st, DC Attorney General Karl A. Racine and NY AGO Letitia James sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Leader Schumer - signed by 24 AGOs including MA AGO Maura Healy. Here’s the Letter: AG Racine Leads State Coalition To Stop Trump SNAP Cuts That Would Leave Millions Hungry During Pandemic

Troubling practices re photo IDs at some local food pantries:

We’ve received some concerning information that a few local food pantries may be asking families for either photo IDs and/or SSNs when requesting emergency food.  For food pantries that get Food bank (TEFAP and MEFAP foods) this is absolutely not allowed. This unauthorized practice creates a lot of fear for many immigrant-headed households.  Further, collecting certain personal data, such as SSNs, may also violate state privacy laws. Attached is an email Worcester Co Food Bank distributed to partners on Monday, we will post some of the fliers they are distributing soon. And here isinformation for food programs working with immigrant communities that we posted in 2017 when this issue arose.

If you are aware of food pantries asking for photo IDs or SSNs, please contact MLRI ASAP.  If the food pantries are affiliated with any of the four Food Banks, please report this to the area Food Bank.

Immigrant/Benefits Online Basic Benefits Training on June 17th:

There is still time to register for MLRI’s annual Basic Benefits Training on immigrants and benefits, which will include in-depth discussion on public charge. This is now an online training. You can still register with MCLE here.  Be sure to identify yourself as a “Non-lawyer Advocate” (and then hit “refresh) to get the $35 registration fee.   

The BBT session on Unemployment Insurance is the next day, June 18th.  Again, Register HERE.


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