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7/13 mtg, USDA racial justice input due 7/15, Child tax credit, summer PEBT + Unemployment webinar

Coalition meetings - next Tuesday and the schedule for July/August
 
Our next SNAP Coalition meeting is next Tuesday 7/13 from 10 to 11:30. The first hour of the Coalition will be a special “SNAP Mythbusting” webinar/presentation from the Shah Family Foundation and three of the top SNAP Outreach partners in the state!
  • The Shah Family Foundation will present recent data from the MassINC survey regarding food insecurity among 10,000 largely low-income households in 14 school districts in the state. 
  • The Food Bank of Western MA, Greater Boston Food Bank and Project Bread will present some of their best practices/strategies when working to connect families with SNAP and mythbusting some of the SNAP rules.
  • The last half hour of the meeting will include updates/discussion on DTA’s local office reopening.  
 
 
NOTE: Our next full Coalition meeting will be on Tuesday, August 10th.  There is a scheduling conflict for the 4th Tuesday of the month, July 27th, and many people are typically on vacation end of July and end of August. So our normal fourth Tuesday of the month meeting will be moved to Tuesday, August 10 from 10-11:30. This will be the only Coalition meeting in August. We will resume with the 4th Tuesday of each month for the remainder of 2021, with special presentations on the 2nd Tuesday as topics emerge.

USDA ask for input - July 15 deadline: Advancing Racial Justice and Equity and Support for Underserved Communities

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) has asked the public for input on how it can advance racial justice and equity for underserved communities as part of its implementation of President Biden's Executive Order on "Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government". Input is due on July 15th- click here to learn more and to submit commentsThis is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to provide input on the barriers communities of color and BIPOC, Latinx and AAPI households face accessing federal nutrition benefits including SNAP, P-EBT, free/reduced price school meals, WIC and more. We encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts with USDA! 

For example, you could:
  • share with USDA how the SNAP application process is difficult for families you work with, or what policies you feel disproportionately impact families of color.
  • flag for USDA areas where you think messaging and outreach are critical.
  • identify ways that collecting data could help inform conversations about creating anti-racist programs.
Do not feel like you need to write lengthy, detailed comments given the short window for feedback.  We think there is value in simply sharing your experiences and/or the experiences of those you work with in terms of systemic barriers, inequitable policies, and how you see racism and racist policies playing out in terms of access to federal nutrition programs. MLRI will be submitting comments as well.  If you need help uploading your comments, please let us know.
 
Boston Globe highlights barriers for low-income households in accessing expanded Child Tax Credit - and FindYourFunds.org resources!
 
The Boston Globe's Zoe Greenberg did a fantastic article on barriers accessing the expanded Child Tax Credit for an estimated 58,000 children in Massachusetts - including the stories of two impacted families and quotes from our colleagues at GBLS and Children's HealthWatch! The article includes mapping of communities in MA where the IRS has estimated the largest number of families are at risk of missing these critical payments unless they file a tax return or complete the non-filer form on the IRS website. This process can be confusing and difficult for low income families - please learn more and share outreach materials on FindYourFunds.org
 
Summer P-EBT - updates and resources
 
A few items to note on PEBT:
 
1. Spanish language Facebook live - Catalina Lopez Ospina - the fantastic Director of the Mayor's Office of Food Access with the City of Boston - was interviewed on Facebook live with el Mundo on Summer P-EBT. The video is in Spanish and is a fantastic resource for Spanish speaking families. Check it out and share!
 
2. updated unPINed card data from DTA shows that 87% of PEBT cards issued have been PIN-ed. To see how many kids have unPINed cards in your community, see the attached. Please encourage your school district to do direct outreach to kids with unPINed cards!
 
3. MAp-EBT.org has updated outreach materials on Summer PEBT in 11 languages here!
 
Webinar on Unemployment benefits Monday, July 19, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m 
 
 Greater Boston Legal Services is doing a presentation for community providers on Understanding Unemployment Insurance on July 19.  The presentation will include 
  • commonly asked questions and  changes for those seeking or receiving traditional state unemployment insurance (UI)
  • the federal UI programs including pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) that last until Sept. 4th.  
  • UI overpayments and how to get waivers of UI overpayments.  

The event is free, but please register HERE. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.


If you have questions, email:
Rochelle Hahn, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, rhahn@mlri.og
Jennifer Howard, Rosie's Place,  jhoward@rosiesplace.org
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