National Family Month provides an opportunity to reflect on your family and families around the Commonwealth and ways we can help make them stronger. The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) works hard every day to help make families stronger by providing vital assistance to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents.
Supporting and helping families meet their most basic needs, and moving them toward economic stability is part of DTA’s core mission and helps make the Commonwealth stronger in the long term.
DTA serves one in seven residents, providing vital benefits to help low-income families and individuals meet their basic needs.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Stacey Monahan, DTA has launched initiatives to improve client services, enhance program integrity, encourage healthy eating, and has developed partnerships across the Commonwealth with cultural and educational institutions to allow clients to experience all the museums have to offer within a tight budget. DTA works to supports families through its three major programs, the federally funded Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), and its state and federally funded cash assistance programs, Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) and Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC). DTA also helps families transition to economic self-sufficiency through job training and employment assistance.
SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, is a fully federally-funded program that provides a monthly benefit to buy nutritious food. DTA administers the program on behalf of USDA. SNAP serves a diverse population including working families, children, elders, and people with disabilities. The maximum SNAP benefit depends on the number of people in the household. DTA’s cash assistance programs help children, elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, and pregnant mothers, with little to no income or assets, meet their basic needs, including feeding their families, paying for heat and hot water, and providing stability during their most vulnerable times.
DTA has also forged partnerships with local museums and educational institutions to allow clients to help our clients access as many educational and enrichment opportunities possible. DTA currently has 13 partnerships, including the Children’s Museum of Boston, Children’s Museum of Easton, Children’s Museum of Holyoke, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, the Franklin Park and Stone Zoo, and The Discovery Museums.
As part of Commissioner Monahan’s goal of helping provide clients with healthy food options DTA helped launch a farmer’s market tour last summer to promote SNAP benefits being used at farmer’s market. DTA will continue this work in the spring and summer at farmer’s markets across the state to encourage more markets to accept SNAP benefits. DTA is also working with local non-profits to help make healthy foods more accessible. Last fall, DTA met with a local non-profit called the Fresh Truck, a mobile healthy food market that accepts SNAP benefits, and developed a pilot to make the Newmarket office an official stop to help provide clients easy access to healthy and affordable produce. DTA will be working with similar companies and non-profits throughout the Commonwealth to expand access to healthy food for our clients.
DTA encourages residents and families to contact the Department with any ideas or initiatives that would help the department strengthen families across the Commonwealth.
Tags: National Family Month
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