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AARP Announces Resource on Creating Community Gardens for People of All Ages

Creating Community Gardens for People of All Ages — a 32-page publication by AARP Livable Communities with 8 80 Cities — can help elected officials, government staff, nonprofit organizations and neighbors in all sorts of places build and sustain community gardens as inclusive, intergenerational outdoor spaces.

The publication includes a local example from the Urban Farming Institute in Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester. Their “Grow Box Initiative” was funded through a previous AARP Community Challenge Grant. Continue reading

“State of Grandfamilies 2022” Report Reveals Households Led by Grandparents Experience Food Insecurity at Twice the National Rate

According to the “State of Grandfamilies 2022”  report released by Generations United, the 2.5 million children in the United States growing up in “grandfamilies” face higher rates of hunger and food insecurity than their peers.

Grandfamilies are families in which children are being raised by relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, or close friends – without their parents in the home. In fact, 25 percent of grandparent-headed households experienced food insecurity between 2019 and 2020. That is more than twice the national rate. Food insecurity negatively impacts a child’s ability to learn and grow and has long-term health implications. Continue reading

SNAP Advocacy Guide Developed by Mass Law Reform Institute

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) developed a SNAP Advocacy Guide that outlines the core eligibility rules for SNAP including: how to apply, what proofs are needed, how much income is counted and benefits calculated, how the household composition rules work and more. It also includes  advocacy tips on how to fix SNAP problems, such as inaccurate denials, inappropriate verification demands, how to file an appeal and what happens in a hearing.

This guide is an excellent tool and reference for communities working to become age- and dementia friendly that are focused on food access. Continue reading

Baker Administration Announces SNAP Benefit Increase

The Baker-Polito Administration announced that approximately 550,000 Massachusetts households who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see an increase starting in their October 2022 benefits. In response to the annual cost of living adjustment, SNAP benefits will increase 12%, with Massachusetts households receiving an average monthly increase of $25-$30. Continue reading

Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Submits Consensus Report with Recommendations to White House Ahead of Conference

The Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (Task Force) — an independent group of national leaders and experts convened by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Food Systems for the Future, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and World Central Kitchen — publicly released its comprehensive Report to inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health — the first conference of its kind held since 1969. On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Task Force Co-Chairs will host a public webinar on the Report and its critical recommendations. Continue reading

Baker Administration Launches Common Application for MassHealth and Food Benefits

The Baker Administration announced that residents can now easily initiate a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application when applying for or renewing their MassHealth benefits online.

According to the announcement from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), this option will improve customer experience by streamlining the process to apply for SNAP benefits while residents are already submitting information needed to determine their healthcare eligibility benefits. Continue reading