Secretary John Polanowicz kicked off the SNAP Challenge this week with a shopping trip at Save-A-Lot in Sprinfield to highlight the importance of this benefit as a front line defense against hunger. The Secretary is joining his family, Congressman James McGovern, Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Stacey Monahan, Senator Jamie Eldridge and participants across the country in taking the challenge from June 13-19. Participants must live on a total food budget of $31.50 for the week, or the average, per-person federal SNAP benefit.
“While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by low income families week after week, and month after month, it does provide those who take the challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding,” said Secretary Polanowicz.
The challenge is designed to highlight the importance of the federal SNAP program as a front line defense against food insecurity. It culminates with a screening of the documentary, “A Place at the Table,” on June 19 at the State House. The screening is co-hosted by the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.
In the Commonwealth, one in seven people are served through the Department of Transitional Assistance’s programs that provide access to critical food and cash assistance to help families meet their basic needs. Of the nearly 900,000 residents throughout the Commonwealth receiving DTA services, the majority of clients are SNAP clients.
“The average benefit for a client, at just $31.50 a week, $4.50 a day, or $1.50 a meal, is a modest benefit that helps to provide a bridge to stability during difficult times,” said DTA Commissioner Monahan, who shopped at the Market Basket in Chelsea. “We need to protect those benefits for those who truly need them.”
"I am proud to join the SNAP Challenge with Secretary Polanowicz, Congressman McGovern and DTA Commissioner Monahan as part of a national effort to highlight the importance of nutritional assistance programs and hunger prevention," said Senator Eldridge. "Living on $31.50 for a week pales in comparison to the barriers families across Massachusetts face every day and I am hopeful that participating in the SNAP Challenge will raise awareness of the long-term challenges of living on a food stamp budget."
Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22
Last year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health. “I want more people to …Continue Reading Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month
Guest Post From Carolyn Graves posted on May 19
Business owner Carolyn Graves, owner of Cakes & Islands, talks about overcoming her physical challenge to realize her sweet dream. I was born deaf. But with the use of hearing aids, I had some hearing. Without them I couldn’t hear anything at all. My parents …Continue Reading Guest Post From Carolyn Graves
DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success posted on May 14
A common challenge for many adolescents is finding healthy outlets where they can explore their interests in constructive ways. For many youth who come into our care and custody, individual access to healthy outlets can sometimes be a significant challenge. One way the Department of …Continue Reading DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success