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.
MCB Celebrates White Cane Safety Day posted on Nov 18
Eddie Carreiro doesn’t allow his vision loss to stop him from doing anything. He credits his “I can attitude” as the biggest reason for his adjustment to losing his vision. Eddie also his Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) played a significant role in getting …Continue Reading MCB Celebrates White Cane Safety Day
DDS Honors Its Veterans posted on Nov 10
On November 9th, DDS held its inaugural DDS Veterans event to honor and respect our Veteran co-workers, and also to learn how to make DDS a more supportive workplace for them. This was attended by many DDS staff who are also Veterans, along with our …Continue Reading DDS Honors Its Veterans
DTA Clients Overcome Life’s Challenges and Share Stories of Perseverance posted on Nov 4
Last week in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House more than 100 Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) clients were honored by Commissioner Jeff McCue for taking a positive step on their own personal path to self-sufficiency. These individuals have all been served by …Continue Reading DTA Clients Overcome Life’s Challenges and Share Stories of Perseverance