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Blog Archive for May 2011

As you know from yesterday's Food SNAP Coalition meeting, e-blasts and the news, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) re-designated and extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. Catholic Charities will launch a new round of legal clinics starting this Friday, May 27th. They will add more clinics in Boston (Dorchester) and Brockton over the next week. Please check the Mass Legal Help website for up to date information.

At this AM's Coalition meeting, members discussed a range of cuts to federal programs on the chopping block before Congress. Here is the latest information on proposed cuts to the WIC program including a report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities www.cbpp.org 

Proposed WIC Cuts Would End Food Assistance for 325,000 to 475,000 Low-Income Women and Children

Fifty-one (51) Massachusetts organizations have currently signed onto the national coalition letter in opposition to funding cuts and block granting of SNAP.  THANK YOU MASSACHUSETTS !!!   Below is a list of the 51 Massachusetts organizations. Follow these FRAC links for the letter text, updates on groups on already, sign on information, and backgroundon the FY 2012 Budget.

The May Food SNAP Coalition meeting is tomorrow, May 24th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House in Boston: 39 Boylston Street, 6th Floor.

The AGENDA will include:

The following items may be of interest to Coalition members working with immigrant clients.

The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee released its proposed budget for FY 2012. The following is a summary of some of the key issues that Coalition members are concerned about relative to the state WIC dollars DTA benefits and services, and MEFAP funding.

On the WIC front:

DTA recently instituted some important changes in the Virtual Gateway SNAP application. The SNAP web application now asks all three screening questions for “expedited” benefits and flags the case for follow-up by the Web Units when an applicant indicates that he or she falls into one of the expedited SNAP benefit categories. The expedited eligibility questions have been on the paper SNAP applications all along, and expedited screening is done for individuals who walk into local DTA offices. The web application, however, lacked these questions in the past few years.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is planning to release its proposed FY2012 state budget on May 18th in anticipation of debate starting May 25th. According to the State House News Service, the Senate will "take up its version of the House's $30.5 billion fiscal 2012 budget on Wednesday, May 25. Amendments to the Senate budget must be filed by Friday, May 20, at noon.... The budget will be the first for new Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sen.

RE: Federal Budget Anti-Hunger Update

Massachusetts is expected to lose over $2 billion in federal food stamp/SNAP benefits during the next 10 fiscal years if proposals before Congress to "block grant" the SNAP program prevail. Currently more than 800,000 Massachusetts residents (children, seniors, parents, persons with disabilities) receive SNAP benefits, comprising 440,000 SNAP households. The value of SNAP benefits received in Massachusetts exceeds $100M per month – more than $1.2B a year.