State: Close the SNAP Gap

Approximately 700,000 MA residents who receive MassHealth are likely eligbile for SNAP, but don't receive the benefit. Let's close the SNAP Gap!

What is the SNAP Gap?

The SNAP Gap is the difference between the number of low-income Massachusetts residents receiving MassHealth who are likely SNAP eligible and the number of people actually receiving SNAP. In Massachusetts, the size of this gap is over 700,000 residents. For many years the state has administered these food and health programs separately. This means the application process and collection of documents is duplicated for both Masshealth and SNAP. This creates more work for the state and for low-income households. Most states implement a single eligibility system. It's time to close the SNAP Gap in Massachusetts!

What is being proposed?

An Act Improving Public Health Through a Common Application for Core Food, Health and Safety-net Programs (S.678/H.1173) would increase program access for SNAP-eligible individuals and families by developing a common application that allows low-income households to apply for MassHealth, SNAP, and other income based benefits including income eligible child care, housing, veterans services, fuel assistance and more.

What is happening now?

The Massachusetts Senate proposed budget Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes language to pilot a common application for MassHealth and SNAP. This language was not included in the House version of FY2020 budget so this will still need to reconciled during conference committee in June.

On May 28th, the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing heard the S.678 and H.1173. The next step is for the committee to report on the bill during executive session in the coming weeks. We expect them to report it out favorably, but still need supporters to contact their state legislators to ensure this outcome. Once reported, the bill will begin to be considered by each chamber (the Senate and House) separately. 

What can I do?

1. Contact your state legislators and ask them to ensure the bill is reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing.

2. Sign-up for Project Bread’s Action Team to receive action alerts and updates on the SNAP Gap and other campaigns.

3. Post on social media about the #SNAPGap and share your own story about hunger.

Resources

Read and share the SNAP Gap Coalition's one pager about this bill.

Read Project Bread's May 28th testimony at the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing