Your actions and advocacy have made a difference. We just wanted to share with you the latest update from Worcester County Food Bank, detailing the successes your advocacy has helped achieve this spring and to send out two last asks. The full text of the letter from WCFB’s Maggie Cawley is below. Please make those last two phone calls, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
THANK YOU so much for joining us in action this spring! Every phone call, email, letter, testimony, and visit with a legislator helped build the power of our movement to end hunger. Here are some highlights from the campaigns you helped move forward:
Funding the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP)
In March, advocates traveled to the State House to call for more funding for HIP
(pictured above), so this dollar-for-dollar SNAP-matching program can keep working its magic at MA farmers’ markets, farm stands and CSAs. Thanks to everyone’s advocacy, the Conference Committee included $6.5 million in their State Budget proposal, which was passed by the Legislature this week and is now being reviewed by Governor Baker.
Closing the “SNAP Gap”
More than 700,000 MA residents who use MassHealth likely qualify for SNAP but are not enrolled. Advocates have been calling for legislation to create
a common application so people can apply for MassHealth and SNAP at the same time. After a successful lobby day (pictured right) and hearing, the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing voted to advance the “SNAP Gap” bill and the Conference Committee budget included $1 million for a pilot initiative.
Funding the Massachusetts Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP)
Thanks to the stories and advocacy of our Partner Agencies, our legislators increased MEFAP funding to $20 million for the coming year, showing they value the MA food assistance network’s ability to provide nutritious and locally grown foods.
Improving School Breakfast Access
After two lobby days, the Joint Committee on Education held a hearing for proposed “Breakfast after the Bell” legislation that would require MA schools where 60%
or more students qualify for free or reduced price meals to offer free breakfast after the start of the school day to all students. This would impact 150,000 children. At the hearing (pictured left), we delivered testimony and postcards from community members. Two administrators from Worcester County schools gave powerful testimony.
TWO MORE BUDGET ACTIONS!