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

Celebrating Health IT Week 2014: Reduce Costs, Improve Quality, Ensure Privacy posted on Sep 15

Celebrating Health IT Week 2014: Reduce Costs, Improve Quality, Ensure Privacy

Health information technology is revolutionizing how care is delivered, health information shared, quality measured, reimbursements dispersed, and patients engaged in their own health and health care. This week we celebrate National Health IT Week and the critical role of health IT in transforming and improving the health of patients, health   …Continue Reading Celebrating Health IT Week 2014: Reduce Costs, Improve Quality, Ensure Privacy

A Celebration of Vitality: Mass Rehabilitation Commission at the ADA Legacy Tour posted on Sep 12

A Celebration of Vitality: Mass Rehabilitation Commission at the ADA Legacy Tour

On September 5 – 7, 2014, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) exhibited at the Abilities Expo at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.  More than than merely promoting our latest brochures and fact-sheets, this Expo was an opportunity to celebrate an intensity for life and to   …Continue Reading A Celebration of Vitality: Mass Rehabilitation Commission at the ADA Legacy Tour

Secretary Polanowicz Visits DYS Youth in Westborough posted on Sep 4

Secretary Polanowicz Visits DYS Youth in Westborough

Health and Human Services Secretary Polanowicz recently spent an afternoon visiting with staff and youth from the Department of Youth Services.  Accompanied by DYS Commissioner Peter Forbes, Regional Director Barbara Morton, and Director of Operations of Central Region, Dan O’Sullivan, Secretary Polanowicz observed residential treatment programs   …Continue Reading Secretary Polanowicz Visits DYS Youth in Westborough