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SNAP Coalition Meeting October 23rd AGENDA; Update on Recent Cash Assistance Changes

Boston SNAP Coalition: October 23rd AGENDA: 
The October Boston SNAP Coalition Meeting is this coming Tuesday, 10/23 10 to Noon at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, Boston. The AGENDA will include:
  • Farm Bill/SNAP Federal Update  (Ellen Vollinger, FRAC)
  • Proposed "public charge" rules - what you need to know and how to submit comments (Mario Paredes, MLRI**)
  • Coalition priorities for new 2019 Legislative Session; Update on new House and Senate members (from Primary races) 
  • Cash assistance changes (see below re important TAFDC and EAEDC changes) - we will discuss more at Coalition
  • School meal charges - Please tell us if your local school districts have posted their school meal charge policies required by the FY19 state budget  and let us know if you are hearing from grandparents or others not getting free meal status for children!
  • SNAP and college students - quick check in on what you are seeing with student access to SNAP benefits, loss of financial aid - See DHE's Inside Higher Education article re financial aid "Verification melt" HERE. 
  • Medical expenses, SNAP and public/subsidized housing elderly and disabled tenants - check in on DTA policy and housing agency reactions. See MLRI Tool Kit HERE. 
  • SNAP Outreach and ET Information Sessions:  DTA and UMass Medical are hosting four information sessions - October through January - for community organizations and training programs to learn about how they can get reimbursement for programs and services provided to low income households. See attached flier.
  • Announcements . 
** Mario Paredes is MLRI's Immigration Law Fellow who will spend about 30 minutes at Coalition to give you the basics and tips on how to submit comments.  This information is critically important for all organizations working with the immigrant community.  We are already hearing from school districts that some parents are withdrawing from school meals - this should NOT be happening. Please help us both submit lots of comments to the federal government and project immigrant families - encourage them to keep critical benefits they and their children are eligible to receive. For more information and another micro-link to submit comments, see the MIRA Coalition Protecting Immigrant Families webpage:
The Western MA SNAP Coalition meeting is Friday, November 2nd - 10 to Noon at the Food Bank of Western MA in Hatfield. Contact Megan Schuck for more information. 

The Central MA SNAP Coalition Meeting is Thursday, December 6th from 10 to Noon at Central West Justice Center in Worcester. Contact Liz Sheehan-Castro or Gina Plata-Nino for more information.
TAFDC and EAEDC Cash Assistance Changes: 
DTA is currently implementing changes to the TAFDC cash program (for families with children) and EAEDC cash program (mostly  elder and disabled persons) that were included in the state FY19 budget.  Attached is a summary chart produced  by MLRI and a memo to community partners from DTA. The core highlights of these important changes include that DTA will: 
  • Disregard of all earned income for 6 months for TAFDC
  • Eliminating lower grant for work-required TAFDC families
  • Increasing TAFDC asset limit from $2,500 to $5,000
  • Eliminating EAEDC homeless penalty
If you have clients with earned income (including past clients you can identify) MLRI and local legal services programs would very much like to know what is happening with their benefits.  Also, please let us know about clients with earned income who were eligible in September because of the clothing allowance but closed at the end of September. Contact Deborah Harris at 

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