|Dear Action Team Member,
This fall has been busy at the Massachusetts State House, and we need your help again! Tomorrow, October 7, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Higher Education and the Joint Committee on Public Health will convene to hear arguments for two priority anti-hunger bills on Project Bread's legislative agenda.
Hearings are an important part of the legislative process, and are an opportunity for advocates like you to voice your support or disapproval of bills that have been filed this session. A hearing process can go one of three ways: the committee can vote “favorable,” “unfavorable,” or it can defer a bill to “study.” We need your help to ensure a positive vote on these 2 anti-hunger bills that address food insecurity:
- An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative (H.1368/S.822) will help the 37% of Massachusetts public university students that are food insecure by increasing their access to food resources. If passed, it will provide capacity, guidance, and funding to public colleges and not-for-profit institutions of higher education to alleviate food insecurity on their campuses. This would allow them to implement best practices such as establishing a hunger-free campus task force comprised of both students and administration staff, developing a student meal credit sharing program, and creating an emergency fund to support students in crisis. Importantly, it would also leverage effective federal and state nutrition benefits like SNAP by notifying students of their eligibility status.
- An Act Relative to Establishing and Implementing a Food and Health Pilot Program (H.2298/S.1403) would address hunger as a public health problem by creating a pilot under the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid to demonstrate the impact on health outcomes of medically tailored nutrition services for MassHealth enrollees diagnosed with certain health conditions.
Thank you for your partnership in ending hunger here in Massachusetts.
Yours in advocacy,
Advocacy Manager, Project Bread