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Food SNAP Coalition AGENDA - Tuesday, Sept 28th - Update on SNAP benefit amounts

TO: Food SNAP Coalition Members
FR: Pat Baker

The September Coalition meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, September 28th, 10 AM to Noon at St Francis House, 39 Boylston Street, Boston (6th Floor).

The AGENDA will include the following (as well as issues and announcements from Coalition members present):

* Child Nutrition Reauthoriziation - update on House and Senate versions, and next steps in national campaign to support child nutrition but NOT at the cost of cutting SNAP funding!! Attached is a 9/22 letter from NY State Senator Liz Krueger to the NY Congressional Delegation on this very important issue.

* SNAP COLA update - Despite the issuance of a recent Field Ops Memo, there will be NO decrease in SNAP benefits on October 1st. We will give you the most up to date information on the status of the standard utility allowance (SUA) and efforts of MLRI and New England states to urge USDA to allow continuation of current SUA levels to avoid hurting thousands of elder/disabled households

* UI exhaustees and SNAP waiver - Update on DTA's implementation of the special expedited SNAP process for Unemployment Insurance exhaustees in Massachusetts. Tips on how you can help UI exhaustees file for SNAP benefits. Also note, MLRI and GBLS are conducting a training on October 7th on the nuts and bolts of the Unemployment Insurance eligibility rules, claims process and filing a hearing:

* Closure of Milford and North Adams DTA local offices - update on DTA's planned office closures, discussion of efforts to continue DTA services in affected communities.

* Voided Puerto Rico birth certificates - Puerto Rico has recently announced extension of the time frame for getting replacement birth certificates til Oct 30th. This still may not be sufficient for clients without government photo IDs to get a new certificate. We will discuss the impact of the new PR birth certificate law, impact on benefits in Massachusetts (food stamps/SNAP, TANF, MassHealth, RMV driver's licenses) and what you can do to help your clients.

* SNAP for public college students - Discussion of policy to reach community college students, ongoing outreach efforts. We will also have available copies of the Crittenton Women's Union brochure on resources for low income adult students. [Editor's note: Link is no longer active]

* SNAP Outreach - update on the FFY2011 Outreach Plan and community group participation.

* Ongoing verification barriers - Discussion of recent practice by some local DTA SNAP workers who seek excess verification of terminated employment. What the problem is, what the rules say, what to advise your clients.

* Boston SNAP Web Unit - attached, the latest and most up to date list of SNAP staff at the Boston based SNAP unit. As soon as we receive the staffing list from the Springfield Web Unit, we will share it with Coalition members.

REMINDER: Food Stamp/SNAP Nuts and Bolts Training, October 13th, 10 - Noon. Sponsored by ABCD and MLRI. For more information and to register, email: Roxanne Reddington Wilde,

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