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Public Comment
Read our public comment opposing changes to public charge rule
Proposed changes to "public charge" rule will hurt immigrant families

The changes to "public charge" proposed by the Trump Administration will likely increase hungry, poverty, and poor health among immigrants in our state and country. Read the public comment Project Bread submitted opposing these changes and submit your own on or before Monday December 10 to keep these basic needs programs free from barriers and stigma that deter access for eligible households.

Public Comment
Read our public comment opposing changes to public charge rule

The Facts

Our perspective on solutions takes into account the need to strengthen the regional food system, the rights of working adults to earn a living wage, and the right for all people in Massachusetts to have access to fresh and healthy food. 

Full time workers should earn a living wage

In 2011, 46% of fast-food workers in Massachusetts relied on $173 million in aid (SNAP, Medicaid and EITC) to meet basic expenses every month.

Food Insecurity

10.2% of Massachusetts households—approximately 723,000 adults and children—are food insecure.

Affording Rent on $11/hr Minimum Wage

A minimum wage worker earning $11 per hour would need to work 80 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom rental at Fair Market Rent in Massachusetts.

Campaigns and Actions

Changing public policies can make a substantial and positive impact in the lives of families who struggle to make ends meet. You can help influence policies that protect people from hunger by taking action on these current campaigns. You will be helping to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts can access nutritious food—a basic right!

Public Charge

What you need to know about “public charge”


What’s going on?

On October 10th, the Trump Administration formally announced a proposed rule that will likely increase hunger, poverty and poor health among immigrants in our state and our country.

What is the rule?

The rule centers around “public charge,” a designation placed on immigrants who are utilizing government support programs. The reliance on these support programs is evaluated when an immigrant is applying for a visa or green card.

Right now, only cash assistance and supplemental security income (SSI) are taken into account when determining “public charge.” But the proposed rule would broaden the definition of “public charge” to include use of one or more public benefits, such as:

         -The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
         -Non-emergency Medicaid (MassHealth)
         -Low-income subsidies for prescription medication
         -Low-income housing

Why does this matter?

If finalized, this rule would deter immigrants from accessing critical benefits like SNAP. It would increase fear and force people to make the impossible choice between food and family.  

Food is a basic right for everyone – regardless of immigration status. At Project Bread, we work to expand access to food for families across Massachusetts. This new rule would send our country in the wrong direction – decreasing access to food and threatening the health, nutrition and future of millions of people. It is unacceptable.

What can you do?

Take Action to oppose this dangerous rule. No one should have to choose between food & family.

You can also:

Access resources if you or someone you know may be impacted by the proposed rule.
Read Project Bread’s statement on the proposed rule.
Read Project Bread's comment on "public charge".

Join the Action Team

Receive emailed action alerts and legislative updates.


As we continue to support the working families of Massachusetts, we ask you to help amplify our anti-hunger, anti-poverty work by joining the Project Bread Action Team. Your legislators want to hear from you, their constituents. Sign up to join the Action Team and we will update you via email on progress in the fight for a living wage, as well as on other relevant policies coming out of DC and Beacon Hill. When necessary we will ask you to raise your voice.

We know hunger is often silent, but together we can speak up and speak loudly.

Stay Informed

Project Bread’s work in public policy and advocacy is changing the conversation around hunger in our state and beyond. And it is helping to evolve the way we, and others, approach the needs of the food insecure in Massachusetts. Together, we can elevate the voices of all of those who face hunger — and ensure their needs are met with dignity and efficacy.

Get Involved

We’re changing the conversation, and changing lives. Join us.