Closing the ‘SNAP Gap’ in Massachusetts

While SNAP continues to be a critical lifeline for households across our region, we also know that it is not reaching everyone that it can, leaving thousands of our most vulnerable neighbors at risk of hunger. Currently in Massachusetts, there are more than 1.35 million MassHealth recipients who are also potentially eligible to receive SNAP. However, only 785,800 of them actually are receiving SNAP benefits, leaving more than 570,000 people without SNAP benefits — otherwise known as the “SNAP Gap.”

SNAP Gap graphic

Closing the gap

We have an opportunity to close the SNAP Gap and put more nutritious food on the tables of our neighbors in need so that they can be healthy and productive members of society. Both MassHealth and SNAP are managed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Currently, each program requires a separate application, despite having the same eligibility requirements and documentation forms. A single application portal would streamline the process for clients, making it possible to apply for both programs at once. It would also cut down on redundancy and make the administration of both programs more efficient. The federal government has even offered to cover 90% of the cost for the necessary IT upgrades to make this portal operational.

Benefits to our community

This manageable and cost-saving technological advancement would solve hunger for thousands of children, seniors, working families, veterans and disabled individuals across the Commonwealth. It would leverage an estimated $841 million in federal SNAP benefits annually that would stimulate the Massachusetts economy, generating an additional $1.5 billion in annual economic activity.

Lend your support

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is urging the legislature to support the Baker administration’s efforts to close the SNAP Gap. We believe that everyone has a right to healthy food, regardless of their circumstances. You can support your community by urging your state legislator to “close the SNAP Gap” (visit to contact your legislator). By lending your voice, you can bring about positive change and help feed our neighbors in need.