Post Content

Julia_kehoe By DTA Commissioner Julia Kehoe

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. 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22

Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month

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

Guest Post From Carolyn Graves

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

DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success

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