SNAP Coalition Meeting 12/6: Hunger Free Campus Update and WGBH Story; January Basic Benefits Trainings on Utility Rights and SNAP 101


Greetings Coalition members. We have lots of important updates as 2022 comes to a close.


December 6th SNAP Coalition Meeting:

Our final 2022 Coalition meeting is Tuesday, December 6th from 10 to 11:30 AM. The Zoom link is here (note it is a different link than our normal Zoom link!). 


The AGENDA will include:

  • Brief federal update - from MLRI and CWJC former and now new FRAC SNAP Deputy Director Gina Plata-Nino

  • Brief Hunger Free Campus update during Informal Session (and link to WGBH story if posted in AM) 

  • 2023 Legislative and Budget priorities from Coalition members.

  • Common Apps and SNAP Gap update. See attached letter from Common Apps Coalition to Healey-Driscoll Transition Team.

  • SNAP Updates:

    • Public Health Emergency extension and Emergency Allotments 

    • Reminder re screening for SNAP household deductions

    • Benefits for new immigrant arrivals 

    • Household “misfortune” benefits - reminder as winter is upon us

    • Updates on DTA’s  affirmative outreach on the standard medical expense deduction, LEP/disabled outreach for missing Recertifications, and outreach to households with inactive EBT accounts. 


Upcoming Basic Benefits Trainings in January 2023!

Join us - either in person at MCLE or via webcast - for these two important basic benefits trainings, part of MLRI’s annual training series. Click on the training below for session details and to register. (Click on “Non-lawyer advocate” and “Update” to get the lower $35 fee.)


Hunger Free Campus Initiative update and powerful WGBH Story 12/1/22

Worcester County’s amazing State Senator Harriette Chandler - the first woman to serve from Central MA and Senate President Emerita - is retiring this session after decades of service to her district and the Commonwealth. Senator Chandler is fighting to secure passage of her Hunger Free Campus Initiative in December. Although the MA Legislature is now in “informal session,” many bills can and do pass if they are non-controversial and considered a priority. Senate 2811 is an important legacy bill for Senator Chandler, and an important step toward addressing food insecurity on 2 and 4 year college campuses.  


ACTION STEP: Please urge your area Senators and Representatives to ask House and Senate Leadership to pass Senate 2811/House 4697 during an upcoming Informal Session. Click on this “Take Action” item, and also call or tweet at your Rep and Senator. As we get more information from the Hill over the next two weeks, we will give you updates.  


All Things Considered highlights college student food insecurity: A huge shout out to our former MLRI colleague, Gina Plata-Nino (now with FRAC) and to Brittney Richards (Quinsigamond CC student) for this powerful interview with All Things Considered WGBH reporter Arun Rath. Posted yesterday, Gina and Brittney discuss the real challenges students face on campus, the importance of SNAP access and highlight Senator Chandler’s bill. 


National Consumer Law Center report: More Mass. Residents Fall Behind on Utilities, With Record Winter Bills on the Way 

NCLC’s November 8th Issue Brief highlights that MA households are approaching a winter of unprecedented energy prices. As of its October 24 weekly survey, the state Energy Office reported an average price for home heating oil of $5.69 per gallon, up 72% from the same time last year, and up 175% from just two years ago. National Grid announced a 64% increase in the prices it charges residential customers effective November and Eversource was expected to announce somewhat comparable increases in its winter rates. The MA Energy Office predicts that winter 2022-2023 prices will be almost 25% higher than in the prior winter. This coming winter will be harder than any prior winter for those who struggle to pay the heating bills as they try to keep warm. Check out this sobering NCLC report HERE.  


This NCLC report is another reason to attend/tune into the January 18th Basic Benefits Utilities Training! Register HERE.


Please urge families to apply for Fuel Assistance. You can find out where to apply based on your zip code at DHCD’s “Apply for home heating and energy assistance” webpage HERE.  And let MLRI know if you see households denied fuel assistance for lack of a photo ID. We’d like to know if that is a barrier. 


SNAP Coalition Meetings in 2023 - 4th Tuesdays 

The following are the SNAP Coalition zoom meetings for 2023, all are from 10-11:30 AM. As is the tradition, we do not have a meeting in August, and we have ONE meeting for November and December. 

  • January 24

  • February 28

  • March 28

  • April 25

  • May 23

  • June 27

  • July 25

  • September 26

  • October 24

  • December 5