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Blog Archive for March 2011

At Tuesday's Food SNAP Coalition meeting we discussed the growing problem of DTA delays in processing SNAP recertifications. Please let us know ASAP if you have any clients who receive a “blue letter” from DTA instead of SNAP benefits even though the household sent in a SNAP recertification form before the end of their certification period. Please also let us know about any clients who may not have received a "blue letter" but discover no benefits on their EBT card, even though they timley sent in a SNAP recert form.

The NEXT Coalition meeting is Tuesday, March 29th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House. We will be joined at the meeting by the newly appointed FNS New England Regional SNAP Director, Bonnie Brathwaite. Bonnie has been the SNAP Deputy Director at NERO for three years before this appointment, and has worked on a range of USDA anti-hunger programs over the years. It will be terrific to have her join in the discussion and hear from Coalition members.

A preliminary Coalition agenda includes:

With all that is going on locally, statewide, nationally - it is hard to keep track of the information on FS/SNAP and anti-hunger programs. Next week, many members of Congress will be back in their districts for Congressional Recess - and hopefully available to meet with constituents about top priorities for programs to protect as they move forward through a difficult year.

1. FS SNAP Recertification Delays: DTA issued guidance that effective March 1st BEACON will automatically close Food Stamp/SNAP cases due for recertification that DTA cannot process on time - even if the household submitted its recertification form on time and did everything else it was requested to do. Here’s the DTA Operations Memo instructing staff on the auto closure policy: http://www.masslegalservices.org/node/35698.

We have posted copies of DTA revised SNAP Brochures and a Senior SNAP insert, both of which are in Spanish and English, on the www.masslegalservices.org website. The SNAP brochures include the new gross income test amounts effective in late January.

In follow up to this AM's Food SNAP Coalition meeting, below and attached is the announcement of the Homelessness Safety Net Lobby Day from the Family Economic Initiative:


PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR NETWORKS!

Homelessness Safety Net Lobby Day

Wednesday, March 2, from 12-3, State House, Room A-1

Background:

Under Governor Patrick's proposed budget for FY 2012, over 60% of homeless children and their parents with no other safe place to stay would be denied access to emergency shelter through the state's Emergency Assistance (EA) program.