Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This week the House of Representatives is debating the FY21 state budget. As this debate continues, I wanted to share with you how the House budget proposal addresses the growing issue of food insecurity we are facing across the state that has only been amplified by the COVID-19 public health emergency. As the Globe reports, it is projected that 14.2% of residents will face food insecurity this year. To address these needs and ensure food providers and individuals can access healthy and nutrient-dense food, the House budget makes significant investments in food security.
We provide $30M for the Emergency Food Assistance (MEFAP) program to ensure a consistent supply of food and produce to the statewide network of 800 emergency food providers. The Healthy Incentives Program also receives $13 million in funding to continue providing dollar-for-dollar matches to families using SNAP benefits to purchase fresh produce from farmers markets.
Additionally, I wanted to share that there are a few more spots available for my virtual office hours this upcoming Monday, November 16, 2020. If you have any issues or concerns you would like to discuss, please register for a 15-minute slot.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, retailers in Needham Center will be offering extended hours ahead of the holiday season. Beginning today, November 12, retailers will stay open until 8:00 PM. For more information and a list of retailers participating, click here.
- In Dover, the Dover Town Library is encouraging teens in the community to join the Teen Advisory Board. Teens can gain leadership skills while completing community service hours. The board meets on Friday, November 13 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM via Zoom. To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In Medfield, the Medfield Board of Selectmen will be holding a public hearing on tax classification on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. The topic of discussion will be whether all five classes of property, residential, open space, commercial, industrial, and personal will be taxed at the same rate or different rates for the FY2021 fiscal year. For more information, click here.
- The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation has extended the deadline for applying for small business grants from tonight to November 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM. Grants are available to support small businesses and micro-enterprises that are experiencing economic hardship and loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply for the grant, click here.
- On Tuesday, Governor Baker announced that Massachusetts will be opening field hospitals due to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. The Administration is currently working with MEMA to identify potential locations. For more information, watch Governor Baker’s Tuesday November 10 Press Conference.
- Today, the northeastern states of Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey announced they will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective Saturday, November 14 through December 31. To learn more, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
- The State is currently in Phase 3 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.
- If you are in need of resources, information, or support, please visit my website for a list of resources. Additionally, our local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control are continuing to maintain websites with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 that you can access here:
- Needham Health Department Updates
- Medfield Updates
- Dover Updates
- Department of Public Health: Click here or Call 2-1-1.
- Reopening Massachusetts
- COVID-19 Travel Order
- Centers for Disease Control
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.