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SNAP Coalition Meeting tomorrow; 93 orgs on Biden/Harris sign on letter; SNAP updates and MORE !

We hope you are all staying healthy and planning a COVID-safe Thanksgiving gathering. We really want you to stick around, be healthy and keep in the fight!  

We are also sharing a video from Western MA’s very own Rachel Maddow of MS-NBC, urging the public to take every safety precaution to protect their loved ones now and until it is safe to go back into the world. This is worth viewing and sharing. As she exhorts us, if not for yourself, do it for the people you love the most. 

SNAP Coalition Meeting, Tuesday, Nov 24th from 10 – 11 AM

We are having a shorter SNAP Coalition meeting (60 mins) tomorrow to just check in and give updates before the holidays. The Coalition Agenda will include: Federal updates/Transition planning, state legislative/budget updates, DTA updates as available (e.g. December SNAP emergency allotment, P-EBT recent USDA guidance, EBT card issuance) and upcoming issues. 

Here’s the Zoom Meeting information
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/209236814?pwd=WVRjdGc3YUZkVElPTjlCWmdhd2NjUT09

Meeting ID: 209 236 814
Passcode: 658102
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,209236814#

93 MA Organizations/individuals letter to MA Delegation for Biden/Harris Transition Team!!

Thanks to all of the orgs and individuals who joined in the letter to the Mass Congressional Delegation. This letter (attached) was this AM to staff in most of the offices of the Delegation and we will continue to ship it out this afternoon. THANK YOU to all of you who gave feedback/recommendations and to all who signed the letter.

SNAP Gap & Grant Increase and FY21 State Budget – Quick ACTION Steps TODAY!

Okay, maybe TWO action steps. Before you sign off for the day, please contact your House and Senate Members and ask them to a) include the Senate budget language on the SNAP Gap/Common app and b) include the House Budget funding on the TAFDC/EAEDC cash grant increase.  Two calls, two emails or two social media communications   Yes, the FY21 Conference Committee is convening as we speak. We need you to weigh in – TODAY and Tomorrow ! 

DTA Updated Guidance on Verifications 

We’ve been getting a number of case inquiries re excessive verification.  Just wanted to flag DTA’s guidance of 11/13/2020 (Online Guide Transmittal 2020-78) and the DTA guidance of 10/6/2020 (Online Guide Transmittal 2020-68) where DTA instructs the field on relaxed verifications, interview waivers and more.  Many verifications/proofs traditionally requested are NOT NECESSARY under the relaxed rules. 

Remember: MLRI is keeping track of all COVID-related policy guidance in our DTA COVID policies - Google Doc HERE.  Check this out for summaries of the important policy changes.

MA SNAP college student policies highlighted in The Hill, Op Ed of 11/21/2020!

Thanks to Carrie Welton of the HOPE Center for Community, College and Justice and Abigail Seldin for highlighting how more states can help students access SNAP benefits in this 11/20/2020 Hill Op Ed.  Carrie spoke at the Jan 30th Hunger Free Campus briefing at the State House! MA DTA’s community college SNAP policy, implemented in 2010, is featured in this Op Ed. And many sister states have been following MA, including most recently NY! 

Also, remember, DTA does NOT need proof of a work study job, a copy of the EDUC-1 Financial Aid form or the CCE-1 Community College form.  Students need only submit a financial aid award letter that they receive a work study grant, or receive MassGrant to qualify. Community college students need only send in any document lists their major or course of study. See DTA OLG 2002 of August 28, 2020.

Updated Public Charge FAQs in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Vietnamese and Chinese

 We recently updated the transitions of MLRI’s public charge fliers in multiples languages (see under “More information’). The FAQs are available here. Please remind families that receipt of SNAP for eligible US citizen children does NOT trigger negative “public charge” findings on a parent filing for adjustment of legal status. USCIS has confirmed this and EOHHS’s public charge webpage, updated in September, also confirms this information.