Housing & Food Assistance

Moratorium on Evictions & Foreclosures
This April, the Senate and House passed a moratorium on non-essential evictions and foreclosuresduring the COVID-19 public health emergency to ensure that our residents can remain safely in their homes during this difficult time. The bill was signed into law on April 20, 2020.

As you may be aware, the moratorium expired on October 17, 2020. If you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage, please know that there are resources available to you. You can dial 2-1-1 for support and assistance and find many of those resources at mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp

Even with the state moratorium expiring on October 17, a moratorium established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will remain effective in Massachusetts through December 31, 2020, but protection is limited to households that meet certain income and vulnerability criteria. The CDC’s moratorium is a temporary measure barring eviction in cases of nonpayment of rent. Eligible renters must send their landlord a signed copy of this declaration. More information on the CDC’s moratorium and eligibility requirements can be found here

Additionally, if you receive a notice to quit after the statewide moratorium expires on October 17, that is not the same as an eviction and you do not have to move out by the date provided. Know your rights as a renter.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a housing issue, please be sure to reach out to my office by email at Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov or by phone at (617) 722-1432. You may be eligible for programs like Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) or Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), and we may be able to assist you.

Helpful links:

Pandemic-EBT
Food insecurity has become a serious problem for many families in our district and throughout the Commonwealth due to the coronavirus outbreak. In an effort to assist food insecure families, the Commonwealth applied for additional resources from the USDA, and was one of the first states to be approved to operate Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). The new P-EBT program provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food. Learn more

How to Activate a Pandemic-EBT Card
Some Massachusetts families in need have experienced confusion when trying to activate their Pandemic-EBT cards that they are currently receiving in the mail if their child receives a free or reducedprice meal at school. If you are having issues activating your P-EBT card, please refer to the instructions below. For specific directions on how to set up the pin number, please click here.
 
You will need the letter Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) sent you in the mail to activate the card. If you lost the letter or never received one, you can fill out this form. Then, follow these steps: 

  • Call the EBT card phone number on the back of your P-EBT card: 800-997-2555.​
  • ​Enter your P-EBT card number (it is an 18-digit number).
  • You will then be prompted incorrectly to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number. Do not enter the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. For the P-EBT cards, you must enter the last four digits of your child’s case number that was provided on the DTA letter you received in the mail.
  • Then enter your child’s date of birth using a two-digit month, two-digit day, and four-digit year (example: 04/06/2005).

Need your child’s case number to activate your P-EBT Card? You can get it here.

Unsure if you’re eligible for Pandemic-EBT? Find out here.

For more information, visit: map-ebt.org. Questions? Call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333. 

Project Bread
If you or someone you know needs food assistance, please contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline, a toll-free hotline that is the only comprehensive statewide information and referral service in Massachusetts for people facing hunger. Call 1-800-645-8333 and Project Bread will connect you to food resources in your community. Learn more.

Local Food Assistance Resources
Please consider donating to your local food pantry and refer to the following resources to find out how you can help food insecure families in our district and the Commonwealth:

Greater Boston Food Bank 
Arlington EATS
FoodLink
Food for Free 
Billerica Community Pantry
Burlington Food Pantry
Lexington Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry
Woburn Council of Social Concern
Open Table Inc.
Meals on Wheels
Billerica Meals on Wheels

Twyrl@Home: restaurant in Arlington that prepares and delivers pasta meals. Through April 15th when you purchase a meal, they will deliver two free meals to a senior in the community (includes Lexington). Contact: twyrlhome.com/senior-citizen-initiative or 781-859-3123 or ankatwyrlhome@gmail.com.  

Wilson Farm, Lexington: Offering free grocery delivery for online orders. Visit: www.mercato.com/shop/wilson-farm or www.wilsonfarm.com

Pantry Directory, from FoodPantries.org. Search by municipality
Project Bread’s School Closure Meal Site Finder – With school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many schools and community partners are preparing to make meals available to students when school is closed.
For the most up-to-date information available, click here 
View a map of locations here

Please be aware that plans are continuously changing, so continue checking back if you do not find any meals for your community.

ARLINGTON
Arlington Public Schools
Thompson School
187 Everett St, Arlington, MA 02474

Lunch 
10:30AM-12PM 
Meals will be distributed “to-go” in the lobby.

BILLERICA
Billerica Public Schools
Billerica Memorial High School
35 River St, Billerica, MA 021821

9:00-11:00AM
Free curbside grab & go meals will be available to all Billerica Public Schools students. All food must be taken and consumed off-site.

Shawsheen Valley Technical High School
100 Cook St, Billerica, MA 01821

Breakfast & Lunch 11:00AM-12:00PM
Free “grab n go” meals for students who receive free and reduced meals. Notify Mr. Roach, via e-mail at rroach@shawtech.org by 2PM the day before so we can ensure all food is made fresh every morning and that we have enough on hand. Please include diet restrictions.

BURLINGTON
People Helping People
St. Mark’s Church
10 St. Marks Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

Bulk Lunch Foods
Tuesdays 3:00PM-7:00PM
Bulk lunch foods available weekly for families who receive free or reduced-price meals at school.

LEXINGTON
The District will provide all LPS students who are enrolled in the free and reduced-cost meal program with breakfast and lunch bags Monday through Friday until school is back in session. The District is contacting eligible families with further details.

For questions regarding orders, please contact Kevin Silvia at 781-861-2320 x69107 or ksilvia@lexingtonma.org.

If you believe you are eligible, but have not received a communication, please contact David Coelho at dcoelho@lexingtonma.org.

Families who need transportation or assistance with delivery should contact Johnny Cole, LPS Director of Equity and Student Supports  at jcole@lexingtonma.org.

Boston families can go to any of the sites open to free/reduced meal cost students through Boston Public Schools.

WOBURN
Woburn Public Schools 
Altavesta Elementary School
980 ½ Main St, Woburn, MA 01801

Lunch
11:00AM-1:00PM

Woburn Memorial High School
88 Montvale Ave, Woburn, MA 01801

Lunch
11:00AM-1:00PM