Representative Jay Livingstone filed a bill in the current legislative session called An Act relative to ensuring the Well Being of All Children in the Commonwealth (HD 2844). The bill, which was the result of a collaboration with the nonprofit Healthcare for All, works to amend a range of concerns for low income children in the Commonwealth. The Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children (HHH) Coalition, a diverse group of human service providers, researchers, and advocacy organizations, have backed this legislation and view it as a holistic approach to fixing these issues.
Specifically the bill focuses on healthcare, shelter, and nutrition issues that are being faced by children in Massachusetts. It works to combat disparity by:
- Increasing access to food benefits such as SNAP, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the School Breakfast Program.
- Making families that are at risk of homelessness immediately eligible for emergency shelter.
- Assessing the capacity of schools to screen for medical conditions that prevent students from learning.
- Establishing a common application portal for SNAP and MassHealth benefits and reduces access barriers and churning of SNAP coverage.
- Ensuring that children in emergency shelter can get to medical appointments.
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