The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is the first line of defense against hunger and currently serves one in eight Massachusetts residents . But what happens to individuals and families who don’t qualify for SNAP and are struggling to put food on their tables? If a household’s income is more than twice the federal poverty level (currently $22,350 per year for a family of four), they are not eligible for SNAP, but are likely in need of additional resources to make ends meet.
I’m pleased to announce a new, innovative collaboration between the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) to distribute food to households who don’t qualify for government benefits.
This exciting initiative involves two key components that are currently being piloted at our Dudley Square and Newmarket Square offices in Boston:
- First, DTA identifies households who are ineligible for SNAP but still at-risk of hunger. We give them a voucher that allows them to pick up a box of produce and frozen meats at GBFB on designated distribution days. These packages also include information about food pantries and community meal programs, food safety information, and recipes.
- Second, GBFB will supply boxes of dry, shelf-stable foods to provide emergency food supplies at DTA offices. We will then provide these packages to SNAP applicants who have no other resources to tide them over until their benefits are approved. We hope to be able to offer emergency food supplies at our Boston offices sometime this fall.
Our first food distribution day at GBFB was Saturday, August 20th, and it was very successful. Of the 25 families who were issued vouchers, 18 came to GBFB to pick up their food boxes. Each family received 40 pounds of food including fruit, vegetables, milk, yogurt, frozen beef and chicken. Families were encouraged to utilize the local food pantry network as a way to reduce their 'food insecurity,' or inadequate food supply.
DTA and GBFB will continue to evaluate this initiative and may expand it to include more DTA offices in the future.
The next food distribution day will take place on Saturday, September 10th at the Greater Boston Food Bank.
People with Disabilities Can Enjoy Accessible Broadway In Boston posted on Aug 18
I am a public educator for the Blind Reintegration for Independence, Development, and Growth for Elders (BRIDGE) Program at the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). On nights and weekends, I usher at the Boston Opera House also on Washington Street in Downtown Boston. Each …Continue Reading People with Disabilities Can Enjoy Accessible Broadway In Boston
Veterans: Find Your Honor in Massachusetts posted on Aug 7
All Massachusetts veterans and service members are entitled to certain honors and dignified burials. The Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) has the resources veterans and family members need to ensure the Commonwealth’s veterans receive the respect they deserve. Cemeteries, Medals, and the accessibility of Military …Continue Reading Veterans: Find Your Honor in Massachusetts
Refugee Entrepreneurs Growing Our Economy posted on Aug 5
Nothing embodies the American spirit quite like entrepreneurship. Like America, entrepreneurship thrives on hard work, perseverance, optimism, and an unyielding capacity for renewal. It is because of these qualities that people from around the world dream of a life in America as an independent business …Continue Reading Refugee Entrepreneurs Growing Our Economy