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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
If today, you have had enough to feed your family and yourself you are a fortunate resident in our Commonwealth. Friends and neighbors many of whom are children throughout Massachusetts are hungry.To meet this food insecurity crisis  there were many provisions included in the FY2021 budget to support programs to feed the hungry including $13 million for the Healthy Incentives Program. In addition, today, Massachusetts became the first state to receive federal approval for Pandemic-EBT benefits for the rest of the school year to support families in covering the costs of missed school meals.
In our community, the Needham Community Council and Medfield Food Cupboard have been working throughout the pandemic to provide meals to those facing food insecurity. These organizations give our communities critical support in addressing food needs and have helped many navigate these uncertain times.
If you have food on your table today donate the value of that food so that a friend or neighbor will have food on their table tomorrow.
Yours in Service,
Denise
Local Updates
  • In Needham, the Park and Recreation Department is offering winter activity bags. Activity bags include craft supplies, DIY cookie decorating kids, and a winter themed activity packed. Click here to register for a bag.
  • In Dover, the Dover Town Library will be offering modified hours of service for the upcoming holidays. The library will have limited service hours on December 24 and December 31 and will be closed on December 25 and January 1. For more information, click here.
  • In Medfield, the final Townwide Master Plan Reports are now available. The plan is expected to be finalized by the Townwide Master Planning Committee by December 31, 2020. For more information, click here.
Statewide Updates
  • Starting next week, the Department of Public Health will begin reporting on the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine. This reporting is in addition to the daily updates on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. To view DPH’s COVID-19 data, click here.
  • On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to reject the Governor’s amendments to the FY2021 Budget that weakened language that reduced barriers to reproductive health care for women in the Commonwealth.
  • With COVID-19 vaccines beginning to roll out across Massachusetts, there have already been reports of potential scams. In the coming days, weeks, and months individuals should be cautious of any call, text, emails, or someone knocking on their door claiming to have early access to the vaccine. For tips on how to protect yourself from these scams, click here.
  • If you have a question about when a particular profession or population will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you can email COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov with those questions.
  • In 2018, I voted for a law to strengthen civics education in Massachusetts. My colleague and a lead advocate on this issue, State Representative Andy Vargas, is developing a report on the impacts of the 2018 Civics Education Act and the current status of civics across the Commonwealth. Rep. Vargas is seeking civics teachers for 8th-12th grade to complete a survey here. If you are a high school student, you may also provide feedback here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
  • Massachusetts is currently in Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts Reopening. If you have questions, input, or comments regarding the Reopening Massachusetts plan, you can submit comments online. These comments can be used by the Administration to support efforts to methodically reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the form.
Resources
Please remember social distancing and wearing a mask is the most effective tool to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out and we will get back to you.
Phone: 617-722-2380