SNAP Access

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.

Close the “SNAP Gap” and Create a Common Application Portal

2017-snap-gap-graph_0Pass An Act Improving Public Health through a Common Application for Core Food, Health and Safety-net Programs. Sponsored by Senator DiDomenico and Representative Livingstone.

Take Action:

Thank you to everyone who supported the co-sponsorship drive for closing the SNAP Gap — 105 legislators signed on in support of closing the SNAP gap! Click here to view co-sponsorship fact sheet.

  • As of today, the Senate version of the SNAP Gap/ Common App is still open for co-sponsorship. Click here to see who has co-sponsored the bill (click the print preview button)
  • To learn more about SNAP and other advocacy action, visit Mass Legal Services

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Click on the image above to view SNAP Gap numbers by district

The Problem:

  • The SNAP gap refers to the 680,000 people who are receiving Mass Health and likely eligible for SNAP, but aren’t receiving benefits.[1] (Check out local SNAP Gap Map by city and town: http://tinyurl.com/j7kudzs)
  • Mass Health and SNAP, as well as many other safety-net programs, have separate application processes that ask for the same basic information, duplicating efforts and creating more work for both the state and clients.

The Solution:

  • Create a common application portal to let low income households apply for MassHealth and SNAP at the same time. This lays the foundation for a common application portal for safety-net benefits, reducing duplicate data collection, and increasing efficiency of state government.

Benefits of closing the SNAP Gap and creating a Common Application Portal:

  • Streamline and improve the efficiency of the application process for core food, health, housing and other safety-net programs for Massachusetts residents.
  • Increase access to 100% federally-funded nutrition dollars for low income households.
  • Help more low income residents meet their basic needs and lower healthcare costs.
  • Boost automatic certification for children for free school meals.
  • Generate $2 billion in economic stimulus to the state and local economy.
  • Increase food access for over 100,000 Massachusetts elders.

Upcoming Events:

Elder Lobby Day:                                                                                                               

February 27, 2017
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Mass. State House

Join Elder advocacy groups from across the state as they present legislative  agendas for bills on health care, home care, income security, food stamps, Medicaid eligibility, and much more to address the needs of the growing elderly population in Massachusetts.

Food Stamp/ SNAP Nutrition Benefits Advocacy 101 Training:

March 14, 2017
1:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Mass. Continuing Legal Education (MCLE),
10 Winter Place, Boston (Downtown Crossing)

The  Mass. Law Reform Institute is holding a legal training to provide an overview of federal Food Stamp/ Snap program, including major policy changes and rules of eligibility, benefits, and appeal rights. The program is designed for legal services
and community advocates, lawyers in private practice, and health services workers.

To register: http://www.mcle.org/main/MLRI


[1] Data: September 2016: EOHHS reported 1.8 million Masshealth recipients under 200% FPL, November DTA data shows 763K SNAP recipients. MLRI determined 80% of the 1.8M MassHealth recipients “likely SNAP eligible,” excluding long term care, ineligible students, 3 month time limit, immigrant ineligibles.

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