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SNAP updates: Mythbusting 101; DTA's Reopening, McGovern Roundtable, Unemployment Training!

Thanks again for a robust turnout at Tuesday’s SNAP Coalition - 104 attendees!  There will be NO Coalition meeting on July 27th.  The next SNAP Coalition meeting will beTuesday, August 10th.  That will be the FINAL Coalition meeting until September, in recognition of vacations and the need for some breaks from Zoomland!


SNAP Mythbusting 101 webinar and NEW SNAP Checkbox!  

Huge thanks to the Shah Family Foundation, Project Bread, the Food Banks of Greater Boston and Western MA for their excellent presentations at Tuesday’s (July 13th) SNAP Coalition meeting.  In case you missed it, here’s the Youtube video of their webinar.

And attached is a screen shot of the new SNAP “checkbox” on the MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program paper applications which we shared at the Tuesday webinar. You can find the full MassHealth paper and online applications here!  (The checkbox is not yet part of the MassHealth Connector online application). 

Local DTA “Reopening”

We’d like to remind Coalition members to track closely how DTA “reopening” is going, especially for persons who need immediate access to an EBT card, or need to speak directly with a SNAP (or cash) caseworker to apply or resolve their case.  We know that many households do not have reliable addresses in which to receive mail, have a hard time navigating technology, limited minutes on their cell phones and/or limited literacy, cognitive impairments or other barriers not solved by limited DTA access.

As noted at the SNAP Coalition meeting, the DTA Ombuds Office wants to hear about any cases where individuals have been turned away or discouraged from applying or where individuals need immediate emergency EBT cards.  We would appreciate hearing about these stories as well, even if you are able to resolve them with the Ombuds.  Attached are letters that both the Boston and Chelsea DTA Advisory Boards wrote to DTA Commissioner Kershaw raising serious concerns about the limited local TAO services.  

Congressman McGovern seeking stories of food insecurity/lived experience.

Our wonderful Congressperson Jim McGovern (and chair of the House Rules Committee) recently asked Americans to share their experiences, research, and possible solutions to help guide the Rules Committee in this work. He has also called for a substantive, policy-focused White House hunger conference to create the roadmap to end hunger by 2030, which the United Nations has called for.

Note, the House Rules Committee will hold a roundtable examining local innovations to help combat the hunger crisis tomorrow, Thursday, July 15th at 3:30pm EDT. The event is the fifth in a series of committee events highlighting the reality of food insecurity in America and examining the steps that Congress and the Biden administration could take to equitably combat it. Ending Hunger in America: Local Innovations to Inform a National Strategy follows the recent committee roundtable, Ending Hunger in America: Using Technology to Combat Hunger. This proceeding will be streamed live on via Cisco Webex.

Hannafords and Stop & Shop to offer online EBT purchasing 

The Baker Administration has just announced two more grocers are now participating in the EBT online purchasing option. SNAP households can do online shopping from Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Price Chopper and ALDI via the Instacart online site and mobile app.  Amazon and WalMart have their own portal for shopping. More information from DTA about EBT online purchasing can be found HERE.

Unemployment Insurance Webinar July 19th:   

Monday, July 19, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., please join the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s presentation for community providers from Greater Boston Legal Services on Understanding Unemployment Insurance.   Register HERE.

The presentation includes:

  • Commonly asked questions and changes for those seeking or receiving traditional state unemployment insurance (UI)
  • The federal UI programs including pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) that last until Sept. 4th.  
UI overpayments and how to get waivers of UI overpayments