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As many of you know, the recent Nor'easter on October 29th brought significant damage to a number of communities including power outages. This is a REMINDER that SNAP recipients who lose food due to any misfortune, including a power outage (of more than 4 hours), can apply for replacement SNAP benefits. The amount of the replacement benefits is intended to replace food that was purchased with SNAP benefits and, in any event, cannot exceed the household's SNAP allotment. Households have 10 days from October 29th to request replacement benefits.

This is late breaking news, and many of you may not have even known trouble was brewing.  Late last night the U.S. Senate voted DOWN a proposal to cut SNAP benefits including BOTH our Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown!! The vote was 41 Yes to 58 Nays on one very harmful amendment. This is terrific news and BOTH our Massachusetts Senators should receive calls of thanks and praise.

This is a brief reminder that the NEXT Food SNAP Coalition meeting for Boston is this coming Tuesday, October 25th from 10 to Noon at St Francis House.

The preliminary agenda will include:

Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern just released a letter signed by 127 House members calling on the Select Committee to protect critical programs for low income persons, including anti hunger programs (such as SNAP, WIC and TEFAP).  Here is a copy of the McGovern letter:  http://frac.org/pdf/McGovern_SelectCommittee2011.pdf  And here is a link with the typed names of all the signers:  https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/a

Sending Client Documents to DTA Boston Web SNAP Unit – Secure Email Option

Here is a link, www.masslegalservices.org/content/need-protect-vital-safety-net-programs-briefing-paper, to two documents that MLRI sent earlier this week to Senator John Kerry's office and other members of the Congressional "Super Committee" deliberating major deficit reductions.  We are specifically urging  Senator Kerry to be a strong protector of programs for low-income people in his role as a member of the Committee.

Apologies for the short notice. Tomorrow, October 6th the Coalition on Human Needs Half In Ten Campaign, and the Center for American Progress, are co-hosting a Webinar on the cost of hunger to the United States economy. Details on this webinar from CHN are below. The Webinar starts at 12:30 EST.

A number of changes in "SNAP math" went into effect October 1st to implement the annual cost of living adjustments (COLA). The gross, net and 165% income eligibility standards have increased slightly (note that the 200% level has remained the same; this generally changes in the spring, not in October). In addition, the shelter deduction, standard deduction and standard utility allowance (SUA) amounts have all increased as well.

This is a quick reminder that the Food SNAP Coalition is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 27th, from 10 to Noon at St Francis House in Boston, 39 Boylston Street, 6th floor. 


COLLEGE STUDENTS and SNAP:

The Mass Budget and Policy Center has just released three short fact sheets analyzing the new US Census data. See email below, and go to www.massbudget.org for the links.  This MA based information may be useful in discussions with your Congressional Delegation and other elected officials.