Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2020 #288
Order Adopted as Amended
Dec 7, 2020 5:30 PM

That the City Council go on record as urging Governor Baker to adopt the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Conference report and move forward with creating a streamlined “common application” to help expand access to and participation in SNAP

Information

Department:City Clerk's Office, AMSponsors:Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon, Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Councillor Marc C. McGovern, Councillor Patricia Nolan, Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Councillor Timothy J. Toomey
Category:Policy Order

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WHEREAS:

Across Massachusetts and in the City, food insecurity has skyrocketed amid mass layoffs and business closures, and 15,080 Cambridge residents, or 13% of all Cambridge residents, are currently experiencing food-insecurity; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Of these residents, 7,338 are impacted by the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Gap, the difference between the number of low-income residents receiving MassHealth who are likely eligible for SNAP, and the number of people actually receiving SNAP; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The SNAP Gap places an immense burden on our local food pantries, who have, anecdotally, seen a 10-15% increase in pantry use during the past few months, and who are struggling to keep up with the growing need in our community; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Government food assistance programs, like SNAP, serve as a longer-term, more sustainable intervention to hunger that also accommodates recipients’ cultural and medical dietary needs more easily and provides economic stimulus in the communities they are used in, but many residents may not fully understand how to access the benefits they are eligible for, or may struggle to complete the tedious process of filing an application for SNAP; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

On December 4th, the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Conference report passed in the Massachusetts Legislature, which would authorize the Baker administration to use $5,000,000 to develop a ‘common application’ that would allow MassHealth applicants and recipients to submit an application for SNAP at the same time they are applying for medical assistance, and which is currently awaiting approval from the Governor; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The Massachusetts Legislature also authorized the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to use $5,000,000 to create such a common application system enabling MassHealth applicants to simultaneously submit a SNAP application in An Act Financing the General Governmental Infrastructure of the Commonwealth (“IT Bond Bill”); and

 

 

WHEREAS:

By streamlining the application process and making it easier for residents to access critical food assistance benefits, a common application would help support our low-income, food-insecure residents during their time of great need; now therefore be it

 

 

RESOLVED:

That the City Council go on record as urging Governor Baker to adopt the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Conference report and move forward with creating a streamlined “common application” to help expand access to and participation in SNAP; and be it further

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to forward a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution to Governor Baker, Secretary Sudders, Assistant Secretary Tsai, and the Cambridge legislative delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.

 

Meeting History

Dec 7, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

add all as sponsors

RESULT:ORDER ADOPTED AS AMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Timothy J. Toomey, Quinton Zondervan