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SNAP COLA 10/1; MA Comments to USDA; New SNAP for College Students Bill filed

THANK YOU ALL for your incredible work submitting #HandsOffSNAP comments in opposition to the Trump Admin proposed SNAP cuts! We also want to update you on the 10/1/19 SNAP COLA, and how you can support CA Congressman Gomez EATS Legislation for college students. 

1. Oct 1 SNAP Cost of Living Adjustment - updated MLRI calculators and materials:

As of October 1, 2019 the majority of SNAP households - over 400,000 households - will see a slight increase in their SNAP benefits (starting with their October SNAP) due to updates to the SNAP math.  What’s new?


  • The maximum SNAP grants have increased by a couple of dollars.
  • The standard deductions have each increased (by about $3 to $5, depending on household size)
  • The shelter deduction has increased from $552 to $569/mo for non elder/disabled households (elder/disabled HHs do not have a shelter cap). 
  • The heating/cooling SUA has increased from $643 to $646/month


We have updated our online and excel SNAP calculators, along with our one page worksheet (attached). Note - currently Mass Legal Services is having some issues, so we have attached the excel calculator and the 1 page worksheet to this email. In the future, for direct links to the most up to date SNAP calculators, go to

2. Link to comments filed by MA organizations in opposition to USDA’s proposed SNAP cuts:

Again, a resounding THANK YOU to everyone  from Massachusetts who submitted comments opposing the Trump Administration's proposed rule – including from persons with lived experience, health professionals and researchers,  food banks and food pantries, school nutrition officials and teachers, farmers and economists, as well as our SNAP state agency, DTA!  The proposed rule – if implemented – will cut SNAP for 3.1 million people nationwide- including working families with income between 130 and 200% FPL as well as SNAP households that are trying to save low amounts of money. The comments filed were overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposed cuts.  Massachusetts ROCKS !!   

If you sent MLRI your comments, we have uploaded them to a Google Drive folder you can view by clicking HERE.  Please continue sharing with us your comments so we can add them to this list!  If you sent us your comments and they are not listed, please send them again (we apologize if we misplaced them). 

3.  CA Rep Gomez files college student SNAP bill – please urge your Member of Congress to sign on, and add your organization's name to the endorsement list:

Please add your organization’s name to endorse CA Rep Gomez EATS Act - Enhance Access to SNAP Act of 2019 (H.R. 4297) which will remove the SNAP restrictions for college students! On September 12th, CA Reps Jimmy Gomez and Josh Harder filed legislation that would treat college students like any other SNAP applicant and not require the student to have to work 20 hours a week, receive work study or meet the other crazy exemptions. See Gomez press release HERE with link to language in bill.

Rep Gomez’ bill goes a bit further in ensuring needy students can get SNAP beyond the language in Senator Warren/Rep Lawson’s bill (S. 2143/H.R. 3809) and Sen Murphy/Rep Hayes bill (S. 2110/H.R. 3718) – which also have very good provisions that could be added into one major bill.

TWO action steps:


  1. Please urge your Member of Congress (House) to cosponsors of H.R. 4297. See HR 2397 Reps Jim McGovern and Joe Kennedy III have signed on from MA so far.
  2. Please join in as an endorsing organization. Click here and fill out the google form to sign on. Organizational endorsements may be cited in social media or press releases.  Endorsing orgs from MA so far include MLRI, uAspire and the Food Bank of Western MA.   


4. Upcoming SNAP Coalition Meetings - mark your calendars!


  • Central MA SNAP Coalition is this Thursday, Oct 3rd in Worcester at the Central West Justice Center 405 Main Street.  Contact Gina Plata-Nino for details:
  • October Boston SNAP Coalition is Tuesday, Oct 22nd at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street.
  • Western MA Coalition meeting is Friday, November 2nd at the Food Bank of Western MA in Hatfield.  Contact Megan Schuck at FBWM for more details.
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