Submitted by FoodSNAP on 07/08/2020 - 4:21pm.
When it comes to how to best support the efforts of the SNAP Coalition and the anti-hunger community towards anti-racism and equitable policy changes, we at MLRI are constantly learning, and want to continue learning from all of you. Below we have compiled some resources and information, along with an immediate and longer term action step. We have also included some DTA updates and DTA information in this eblast.
Food insecurity, inequality & structural racism
Race equity is at the forefront of many positive policies that combat food insecurity - just as racism is often at the forefront of harmful policies that seek to cut or block access to benefits. This work is not simple and it is ongoing, always. Please be in touch if you have thoughts, additional resources, or other items to share with the Coalition. Below is research and resources we are reading and referring to. We will continue to share information and work with the Coalition to identify and act on systemic barriers to nutrition programs, with a focus on those that disproportionately harm Black and brown households and communities.
- See this 7/6/20 powerful Politico article: "Stark racial disparities emerge as families struggle to get enough food." The data shows that Black (39%) & Hispanic (37%) households with children are now nearly twice as likely to be struggling with food as similar white families (22%).
- Children's HealthWatch and Project Bread just released a report titled "The State of Hunger in Massachusetts", with a focus on East Boston. The report examines barriers to food access in the prodeminately Latinx community and points to systemic inequities and discrimination that cause or reinforce food insecurity.
- For a SNAP and welfare focused list with different resources we have compiled based on recommendations from colleagues and national partners, click here (this is an evolving document).
Immediate Action step: We urge you to continue to keep up the pressure and the noise on the importance of including key SNAP provisions in the next COVID package! Lift up the powerful and stunning data in the Politico article - along with what you are seeing in your communities and the stories from families you serve - and ask Governor Baker to weigh in with US Senate Leadership to ensure the package includes a) 15% boost to SNAP b) increase in the minimum benefit to $30 and c) suspend rule changes that would cut or terminate SNAP.
Ongoing Action steps: Take a close look at data and at state and federal policies that disproportionately harm communities of color, examine the goals and priorities of your organizations, and align with individuals and organizations that are tackling structural racism and significant policy reforms.
Recent DTA policy and staffing changes
Click here to read DTA's statewide updates shared with the Advisory Boards - this document covers many of the areas of work during COVID-19, along with some DTA staffing changes.
We also shared these brief slides with the SNAP Coalition during Tuesday's Zoom Coalition meeting. - including a brief overview of new ways to apply for SNAP and cash benefits, the continued suspension of time limits/work rules, and the current process for households to re-verify eligibility.
MLRI is seeking a Racial Equity & Justice Staff Attorney
MLRI seeks a dynamic, creative, experienced attorney to take a lead role in policy advocacy, impact litigation and coalition-building to advance a statewide race equity and justice agenda that will address structural racism in laws, policies and practices that lead to and keep communities of color in conditions of poverty. Click here to view the job description. Please share with your networks!