The COVID-19 Family Support Center
May 15, 2020
Dear BPS Families,
As part of a new program called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), all Brockton Public Schools families will receive funds in the mail over the next few weeks to help defray the cost of groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families will receive these funds regardless of whether they currently receive benefits from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).
Since we are a district that provides free meals to all students, each of our families is eligible to receive P-EBT funds. Through P-EBT, eligible families can receive $5.70 per child for each day that Massachusetts schools are closed (70 days).
If you do not currently have an EBT card, you will receive a P-EBT card for purchasing groceries at stores where SNAP benefits are accepted. If you currently have an EBT card, the funds will be added to your existing account. The P-EBT card is valid for one full year.
Over the next several days, your household will receive a letter in the mail explaining the program. You will then receive the P-EBT card between 7 and 10 days later. If you already have an EBT card, you will receive a text message and notification in the mail before the funds are automatically added to your card.
If you do not receive information regarding P-EBT by the end of the month or if you'd like more information, please contact Janice Johnson-Plumer at 508-208-5518. If you have recently moved and would like to confirm that DTA has your correct address, please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333.
As a reminder, the Brockton Public Schools continues to provide free meals to students Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Angelo School, Arnone School, Brookfield School, Davis School, East Middle School, Hancock School, Plouffe Academy, Raymond School, South Middle School and West Middle School. We encourage each of you to visit our grab-and-go food sites to pick up meals for your children.
Please stay safe and healthy.
BPS has established a call center operated by School Adjustment Counselors and Nurses who have volunteered to provide additional assistance to students and families. The team is multilingual and can assist with information and strategies that address concerns related to school or community because of COVID19. The list below provides the name, number and language of the counselors and nurses available to take calls during day hours (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.). Please understand: THIS IS NOT a crisis response team. If there is an emergency or someone in your family needs an immediate response please call 911 or for a child in crisis, call Mobile Crisis 508-580-0801.
Maria Lobo Andrade
Jean "Garry" Guilloteau
The Office of Student Support Services has compiled a database of crisis resources, a well as best practices for helping students cope during these difficult times. Please click here to visit our Social Emotional Supports page.
CLICK HERE TO READ OUR HEALTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER.
CONTACT A SCHOOL NURSE:
Our school nurses are available to assist students and families each week day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This service is NOT intended to replace medical care. If you require emergency assistance please call 911.
The City of Brockton, Signature Healthcare and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center have opened an outdoor COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of Brockton High School. Tests are available by appointment only. Please call 1-844-483-7819 to request an appointment. Please note, this program is not operated by the Brockton Public Schools and we cannot provide booking assistance. You will need to call 1-844-483-7819 to schedule your appointment.
CDC USEFUL TIPS FOR:
RESOURCES FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS:
Janice Johnson-Plumer and Barbara Alicea are available to help parents who need to apply for SNAP Benefits, have lost their jobs or are laid off during this time. If you need help, please call Janice at 508-208-5518 or Barbara at 774-274-2661 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Barbara is available to assist parents who speak Spanish and need language assistance.
The Department of Transitional Assistance recently launched the Pandemic EBT program, or P-EBT. Pandemic EBT is part of The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201.
Through P-EBT, eligible families can receive $5.70 per child for each day that Massachusetts schools are closed (70 days). Eligible families will receive a P-EBT card to use like an EBT card for purchasing groceries from approved retailers.
Who is eligible?
The P-EBT program provides additional food support for students who would have received free and reduced-price meals if not for the school closures due to COVID-19.
How will I find out if I am eligible?
Current DTA Clients will be receiving:
– A text message from the Department and an alert on DTA Connect on 4/30
– A notice in the mail
Those currently not receiving DTA benefits will be sent:
– A notice in the mail with a flyer developed by DTA, DESE, Shah Foundation and Project Bread
– Information potentially from DESE and other partners
If you do not receive information regarding P-EBT or if you'd like more information, please contact Janice Johnson-Plumer at 508-208-5518.
The Brockton Public Schools operate 10 grab-and-go food locations open to any child living in the City of Brockton as well as children in neighboring communities who are experiencing food insecurity. Each child will receive one breakfast and one lunch each day. The child does not need to be present at the time of pickup to receive meals- a family member or family friend is allowed to pick up meals on a child's behalf.
Grab-and-go meals will be handed out at all 10 of the following locations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every week day:
- Angelo School
- Arnone School
- Brookfield School
- Davis School
- East Middle School*
- Hancock School
- Plouffe Academy
- Raymond School*
- South Middle School*
- West Middle School* (Note: Effective Monday, May 4, the Brockton High School food program has relocated to West Middle School)
*On Fridays, visitors at East, Raymond, South and West will receive additional meals for the weekend.
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF FOOD PANTRIES IN THE BROCKTON AREA.
Families interested in learning more about the new Pandemic EBT program should scroll up to read the Unemployment Assistance section.
The Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) has launched a Mutual Aid Brockton project which consists of three components:
- A Facebook Group designed as a centralized place to post, share and find resources and educational information pertaining to the impact of Covid-19 in the Brockton community. The FB page name is "Mutual Aid Brockton."
- To assess the critical needs within our community, BIC has created a Covid-19 Emergency Response Community Survey. This survey is available in five languages and it is used to assess the needs of Brockton residents and the ways that individuals may wish to volunteer in some capacity in order to help their fellow neighbors. BIC will follow up with respondents to provide resources specific to the needs identified in the survey, such as delivery of food, providing gift cards to assist with paying bills and assisting with transportation needs.
BIC COVID-19 Emergency Response Survey Link
- To help with meeting these needs, the third initiative is the establishment of a COVID-19 Emergency Fund that is entirely used to assist the Brockton community with the needs identified in the survey. If you wish to donate to this Fund you may do so by visiting the BIC website.