As part of Hunger Action Month, Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) last week participated in the Hunger Awareness Rally at the State House. DiDomenico was joined at the rally by DTA Commissioner Jeff McCue, Representative Jay Livingstone, Representative Hannah Kane and Representative Joe McGonagle.
Sen. DiDomenico has long made food insecurity and nutrition policy a top priority and has been a leading champion for anti-hunger policies in the Massachusetts Legislature. At the rally, DiDomenico was recognized for his advocacy in the Legislature, and he spoke on the importance fighting against cuts to nutritional programming on the federal level and the need to continue expanding access to these services here in Massachusetts.
“While nutritional access is under attack at the federal level, here in Massachusetts, we know how valuable nutritional programs like SNAP are when it comes to improving the health and wellbeing our hardworking families,” said Sen. DiDomenico. “I, along with my legislative partner, will continue working to ensure that everyone in our Commonwealth has access to the nutrition they need and deserve, and I am very proud to be the lead Senate sponsor of policies like the SNAP Gap and Breakfast After The Bell bills to help expand nutritional access for our Commonwealth’s children and families. I would like to especially thank The Greater Boston Food Bank, Project Bread, the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and countless other hunger relief organizations for their partnership and that all they do to raise awareness on this incredibly important issue for our Commonwealth and our nation.”
The Senator has personally filed two major pieces of legislation this session that would have a direct impact on food insecurity here in the Commonwealth:
- An Act improving public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs (i.e. the SNAP Gap bill)- This bill would create a common application portal to let low-income households apply for MassHealth and SNAP at the same time, thereby consolidating the application process and raising awareness of SNAP eligibility. This bill would help more low income students access free school meals, increasing food access for over 100,000 Massachusetts elders, and help more families meet their basic needs.
- An Act regarding to breakfast after the bell- This legislation would require all public K-12 schools with 60-percent or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the federal National School Lunch Program to offer breakfast after the instructional day begins to increase student participation in free and reduced price breakfasts and decrease the amount of kids that start the school day hungry.
The Senator’s breakfast after the bell bill passed the Massachusetts Senate in July with a unanimous and bipartisan vote, and Sen. DiDomenico is continuing to work with the Rise and Shine MA coalition to advocate for the bill’s final passage during informal session by the end of the year.