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Beacon Hill Update: Food Fund, Cultural Relief Fund, Negotiating with Banks

$500 Million Emergency Food Fund Legislation Filed
     Rep. Mindy Domb (D-Amherst) has filed legislation, co-sponsored by 36 of her colleagues, to establish a $500 millionemergencyfundtosupport food pantries in Massachusetts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The legislation, would provide money to buy additional food and personal care items as well as to support pantry’ operations.
     “These pantries were part of the monthly safety net for many families before the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Domb. “Many families live paycheck-to- paycheck in the best of times. The ... outbreak has furloughed many of those workers, and families are turning to food banks for help. Record-shattering claims for unemployment benefits indicate an additional need for emergency food for our neighbors, many of whom never needed food pantry services before.”
Mass Cultural Council Covid-19 Relief Fund
     We know that...the Covid-19 crisis  has caused major disruptions for the careers of individuals who earn income through their work in the cultural sector,” says the Mass Cultural Council as it announces the launch of the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Individuals. Grants of $1,000 will be available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists who have lost income derived from their work as a direct result of COVID-19 related cancellations and closures. Learn more about the fund at:
https://massculturalcouncil.us13.list- 53ba999ee11711318320d&id=c9d b626189&e=09209658df
Masspirg’s Guide On How Consumers Can Negotiate with Banks
     Education Fund released a guide with tips for how consumers can negotiate with their banks to lower interest rates, waive overdraft fees and agree on payment plans to provide more financial peace of mind in the months to come.
“When Americans budgeted for 2020, they could not have predicted a pandemic that would force them to work from home, cut their hours, or leave them suddenly unemployed,” said Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG Education Fund’s Consumer Program Director. “All across the country, people are experiencing financial hardships and uncertainties, and it’s important that banks, utilities and lenders provide flexibility for those individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.”
You can access the tip guide here: feature/usf/covid19-consumer- tip
Two Views On Guns
     “Gun shops and shooting ranges are not essential businesses during a public health emergency. We cannot undermine the safety of our police officers, first responders and domestic violence victims. -Attorney General Maura Healey.
     “It is irresponsible and irrepressible for a person in her position to make such false accusations to the public,” said Jim Wallace Executive Director of GOAL. “To even suggest that the 400,000 plus Second Amendment community is a public safety threat simply demonstrates the discrimination our community is facing during this crisis. -Jim Wallace, Executive Director of the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) of Massachusetts, responding to Healey.
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