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Cape and Islands SNAP Back After Juno

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Friday, February 13, 2015   

NANTUCKET, Mass. - The several feet of recent snow may have diverted attention from the plight of victims of the storm dubbed Juno that wracked Cape Cod and the islands last month. In Provincetown and Nantucket, however, some residents are getting a break in the wake of that mess.

Replacement SNAP benefits have been extended so that lower-income residents who qualify can replace food spoiled or lost to power outages and flooding during the Jan. 27 storm. Pat Baker, senior policy analyst at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, wants to get the word out because there's a deadline.

"Families on Nantucket and Provincetown have the right to ask the state for some SNAP benefits to replace the food they lost or had to throw away because it wasn't edible," she said. "They have until Feb. 18 to do it."

About the only way Juno victims can learn about the availability of SNAP replacement benefits, Baker said, is through websites run by nonprofit poverty law advocates. She said those who seasonally enjoy the Cape and Islands shouldn't take for granted those who live there year-round and sometimes have trouble making ends meet.

Baker said what she calls vacationland - the Cape and islands - can be misperceived as a posh place to live.

"It is not an easy place for a year-around person who doesn't have a significant amount of independent income and resources," she said. "I think the public often thinks of it fondly as their place to vacation, but not a place where people barely subsist during times of the year like this."

In order to qualify under "Household Misfortune" circumstances, one has to report the loss of food either by phone or in person or in writing to the Department of Transitional Assistance and return a signed and completed form.

More information is online at masslegalservices.org.


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