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National Call-In Day & other important updates

hanks again for a robust turnout to Tuesday’s SNAP Coalition meeting. HUGE thanks to DTA for their work to secure pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for students for September, as well as their ongoing work to provide the SNAP emergency allotment again for September (which will be issued around 10/2). 

TODAY is National Call-In Day to Urge Action for Comprehensive COVID-19 Package Before Congress Adjourns!

Join FRAC and advocates across the country for a national call-in day TODAY (9/16) to urge Congress and the administration to immediately pass a comprehensive COVID-19 emergency relief package. Congress should not leave town without it!

Call 888-496-3502 twice to reach both of your Senators and urge them to enact a COVID-19 relief package that addresses the magnitude of this crisis and provides critically needed relief, including nutrition assistance, housing, income support, state fiscal relief, and other critical needs. You should continue to lift up the need to increase SNAP maximum benefits by 15 percent and minimum monthly benefits from $16 to $30; and extend and strengthen Pandemic EBT through 2021.
P-EBT for September
DTA announced at Coalition that they are pursuing issuing P-EBT for students for missed days of school in September. The Families First COVID legislation only authorizes P-EBT until 9/30 –so under current law, DTA can only issue P-EBT for missed days up to 9/30. More information to come on this front as we move forward.

Also note that the national Food Research and Action Center and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released an excellent study of P-EBT across the country. Click here to read. Among other details, researchers found that P-EBT reduced food hardship faced by the lowest-income children by 30% in the week following its disbursement and lifted an estimated 2.7 to 3.9 million children out of hunger.

SNAP COLA October adjusts SNAP grants and other parts of SNAP math
USDA recently announced the 10/1/20 cost of living adjustment or “COLA”-  effective Oct 1st. This year's COLA is a 5% boost in the SNAP maximum allotment (for ex, from $194 to $204 for a 1 person household), a $19 increase in the SNAP shelter deduction, and a small increase in the homeless and standard deductions. More to come on the impact of this adjustment on the caseload. MLRI will be updating our SNAP calculators in early October with these COLA figures.
Note that this is an annual change, it is not tied to COVID or increased food costs and needs low-income families are facing! This COLA does not change the massive need for Congress to #BoostSNAPnow and increase grants by 15%. 
Average SNAP benefits for single older adults in MA by city and town
During yesterday’s call, Tara Hammes of the Mass Councils on Aging kindly shared data from DTA that shows the average SNAP benefits by city and town for adults 60+ living alone. MCOA uses this data in their SNAP outreach effort. (Note, this data does not include the SNAP emergency allotment nor the HIP benefit).  This is excellent information for doing SNAP outreach work. Hats off to MCOA
Upcoming Basic Benefits Training Series for 2020/21
MLRI and our partner legal services advocates are continuing with the annual Basic Benefits Training series. For now, all are remote trainings. The first one on Assisting Families Experiencing Homelessness is schedule for September 23rd.  The entire MLRI 2020/21 BBT series and links to register can be accessed HERE.  Attached is a printable PDF schedule for those of you who like to have the full sheet on your walls!
Clothing Allowance in September for TAFDC households
The income limits for TAFDC eligibility go up in September as a result of the clothing allowance. Families who get TAFDC for September also get a $350 clothing allowance per child. Parents who get TAFDC are also eligible for subsidized child care without a wait list. This is a significant benefit – we encourage families with very low incomes or no income to apply for TAFDC during the month of September. Folks can apply by phone or at To learn more, see DTA’s overview of the 2020 clothing allowance here.
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PDF icon 2020-2021_BBT_Training_Series.pdf76.09 KB