What’s Up in Newton This Week? Newton COVID-19 cases continue to rise, City Council to vote on $2,000,000 appropriation of CPA Funds for COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program, School Committee to vote to Withdraw from EDCO Comments due TODAY on Draft FY2020-2027 Open Space and Recreation Plan, NewCAL Community Meeting on Thursday and more….

COVID-19 Update: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 689 with 96 related deaths. The Governor is expected to release a four-phase re-opening plan TODAY. Stay tuned to see what restrictions and/or businesses will or will not be open and how that impacts Newton. In the meantime, stay safe.

Council to vote on $2,000,000 CPA appropriation for COVID-19 Emergeny Housing Relief Program: The City Council will meet TONIGHT as a Committee of the Whole to discuss and vote on a proposal to appropriate $2,000,000 of CPA funds to create a COVID-19 Housing Rental Assistance Program. In addition, the City will be allocating five hundred thousand ($500,000) in CDBG funding from the federal CARES Act to emergency housing needs.

Food Assistance: On May 6, 2020, the School Department sent the following email regarding Food Assistance for Newton residents:

Hello Families,

Many in Newton are struggling to put food on the table right now. If your income has changed as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits. SNAP is a federal entitlement program  and anyone who is eligible will receive benefits. P-EBT provides households with an EBT card containing the dollar value of free school breakfast and lunch reimbursement rates for the days that schools are closed to help them purchase groceries. We also continue to run our grab-and-go meal distribution at three sites; see below for additional information. 

P-EBT

If your income has recently changed, you are encouraged to apply for Free & Reduced Lunch. If approved, you may become automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits provided directly from the state.

How to apply online: The online application is easy to complete and is the quickest and most efficient way for you to confirm your eligibility and to enroll your student(s).

How to call for assistance: Please leave a message at 617-559-9038 with return phone # and a representative will reach out to assist you in completing an application.

SNAP

SNAP benefits are given each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card which works like a debit card. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery and convenience stores and some farmers’ markets and co-op food programs. You can give your EBT card to a trusted family member or friend to shop for you. 

Click here for a 10-second screening to see if you might be eligible. 

How to Apply Online: Apply for SNAP benefits today online through DTA Connect.

How to Call for Assistance: If you have questions about your eligibility or how to apply for SNAP benefits, Project Bread has many resources including a confidential Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 where counselors assist callers in 160 languages. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also reach out to Newton’s Health and Human Services Department at 617-796-1420.

Grab-n-Go Meal Sites 

All Newton residents, regardless of age, may pick up meals at the following three sites. Meals are provided free of charge and include breakfast and lunch items. All sites are open Monday-Friday from 10AM-12PM. 

  • Newton North High 
  • Newton South High
  • NECP (150 Jackson Road)

Sincerely,

Stephen Marshall

Director of Business Services

No more EDCO? The School Committee will meet TONIGHT to discuss and vote on withdrawal and termination of affiliation with the EDCO Program. What is EDCO? According to the EDCO website:

“EDCO (pronounced Ed-Co) is a collaborative of 16 urban and suburban school districts serving the Greater Boston area and beyond. We are governed by a board of directors comprised of superintendents and school committee members representing each of our member school districts. All EDCO programs and services are developed and implemented through consultation with member school districts and other sponsoring agencies. EDCO Collaborative Roundtables often facilitate the gathering of information needed for planning programs, services, and professional learning opportunities. Programs align with EDCO’s mission, reflect the priorities of EDCO’s primary constituencies, and are provided in a cost effective manner through interdistrict and interagency collaboration.


EDCO Collaborative’s range of services includes professional learning opportunities for educators; special education and alternative education programs for students with disabilities and at-risk youth; in-district consultation, special education transportation through a cost effective consortium of adjacent communities; and cooperative purchasing of utilities and other items upon request.


In addition, EDCO provides services to youth and adults through a variety of state and federally funded programs, including the Massachusetts Migrant Education Program, the Special Education Surrogate Parent Program, Wrentham Habilitative Services, the EDCO Title III Consortium, and the EDCO Youth Alternative Program.”

Public Comment Period for the Draft FY2020-2027 Open Space and Recreation Plan due TONIGHT: The open public comment period on the draft Open Space and Recreation Plan will now close on 5/18/20 at 6pmAll public comment should be sent to concom@newtonma.gov. The Draft Plan can be found here. The draft Plan will be discussed again by both bodies on 5/19/20, starting at 7pm. Access information for the meeting will be posted in advance. 

NewCAL still moving forward: The next community meeting for the NewCAL project, has been scheduled for Thursday, May 21, at 6:00PM.  The meeting will be held remotely, via Zoom and will be broadcast on NewTV.

To join the Zoom meeting, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85027132275?pwd=MFIrVWNGeS8rMFd6MnFyU3NwMFdPUT09

Or One tap mobile +13017158592,,85027132275#

Or Dial 1 301 715 8592 Meeting ID: 850 2713 2275

Additional information can be found at https://newcal.projects.nv5.com/ .

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This Week’s Road Construction Schedule is now available here.