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Please let MLRI or the Food Bank of Western Mass know if you have any SNAP recipient clients whose lost food (likely frozen or refrigerated food) the end of August/early September as a result of losing power due to Hurricane Irene. The traditional deadline for requesting SNAP help for replacement food due to a misfortune is 10 days from the date of the event (in this case, the date of the power outages resulting from the Hurricane, if more than 4 hours of loss of power).

As kids head back to school, we wanted to share a few important factoids about the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) that may help more families get free and reduced-price school meals. Free/reduced-price meals are available to low income children enrolled in a public, charter, parochial or private school that serve meals and participate in the NSLP. The Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 made some important improvements to the NSLP that will help qualify more children for free and reduced meals.

Many of us had the good fortune to know Kip and/or be inspired by her commitment to justice, anti-poverty and anti-hunger work. The Coalition joins with the Poor People's United Front, Rosie's Place, the Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston Health Care for the Homeless, United for Justice with Peace and so many other organizations she touched in the commitment to "keep her legacy alive by mirroring Kip's courage, focus, compassion and ability to cut to the chase and get things done for the people who need it most." Thank you, Kip!

DTA just released guidance on the process for issuing SNAP replacement benefits due to Hurricane Irene. The guidance identifies the 91 cities and towns for which verification of loss of power or collateral contace of loss is not required.

We just learned from DTA that the full $150/child clothing allowance will be paid in September!!

Due Hurricane Irene, many Massachusetts communities have experienced flooding and/or sustained power outages. Over 500,000 Massachusetts residential consumers were reported still without power early this afternoon - see We understand that Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) are working hard to assess the scope of damage from the Hurricane. Depending on this determination, it is possible that additional SNAP benefits (Supplemental SNAP and Disaster SNAP) may become available.

MLRI is gearing up for its 2011/2012 Basic Benefits Training series !  We are offering a total of 11 sessions starting September 15th through April 4, 2012 including on:
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Emergency Assistance Shelter and Homeless Benefits
  • Cash Assistance (TAFDC and EAEDC)
  • Food Stamps/SNAP
  • Income Max for Wo

1. SNAP Cost of Living INCREASES for October 1st: As folks may recall, SNAP benefits actually declined for many households last April due to the reduction in the standard utility allowance (SUA) based on a decrease in utility/energy costs from two years previous.

ABC News kicks off a division-wide series “Hunger at Home: Crisis in America” beginning with a full day of reports Wednesday, August 24 examining the growing number of families in the United States who go hungry. “ABC World News” weekend anchor David Muir, Steve Osunsami, Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, and Deborah Roberts will report on the realities of what life is like for many of American families and will draw attention to the extraordinary Americans already fighting in the battle to end hunger.

1. HUGE cut in TAFDC clothing allowance in September of thousands of TAFDC recipients: Despite a vigorous campaign to prevent the cut, the final FY2012 budget reduces the annual TAFDC clothing allowance from $150/child to $40/child. This is a HUGE drop for needy families whose monthly TAFDC benefits are less than 50% of the federal poverty level. In the next few weeks DTA will be sending out notices advising TAFDC families of the new clothing allowance amount.