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SNAP Replacement Benefits due to August 4th Power Outages - Deadline Approaching; Media - Emergency food demand spiking in MA

We'd like to remind all SNAP Coalition members, and especially local food pantries where families may be showing up for emergency food, about the SNAP "misfortune" replacement policy.  Over 220,000 Massachusetts residents lost power the evening of August 4th, and for many parts of the state, the outages continued throughout August 5th and the following days as utility companies worked to get power back on.  
 
SNAP households that lost or toss food that was unsafe to eat, can request SNAP replacement benefits - but they need to do so within 10 days of the loss. 
 
For example, if a family had to toss their food on August 5th or 6th, they should contact DTA to request a SNAP replacement benefit this Friday or Monday (weekend days do not count).  Attached is a flier to help advise families of this option.  Here is a link to our MassLegalServices SNAP Misfortune Replacement Benefits webpage.with copies of the DTA forms in English and Spanish. 
 
Last night's State House News Service story, "Food Security Demands Persist Months into the COVID Crisis" reported in WWLP News, confirms that emergency food demands are spiking, with the Greater Boston Food Bank alone reporting a 60% increase in demand. We need to do everything to maximize federal nutrition dollars for low income households, including ensuring households know about SNAP replacement benefits if they lose power due to a widespread outage, an appliance malfunction or an individual utility shut off (even for non-payment of an electricity bill). Please remind families about SNAP Misfortune Replacement Benefits.  
 
The next SNAP Coalition Zoom meeting is Tuesday, 10 AM, August 18th.