On September 7th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced plans to distribute an additional 3.5 million at-home COVID-19 tests to municipalities, in addition to personal protective equipment (PPE). Read the press release to learn more.  

Massachusetts has extended free school meals for all students through the 2022-2023 school year. To learn more, visit Project Bread’s website.

Massachusetts residents can now apply for SNAP when applying for or renewing MassHealth online. Read the Baker-Polito Administration’s press release to learn more about this streamlined application process.

During the summer months, all Massachusetts youth ages 18 and younger can continue to receive free, nutritionally balanced meals through the state administered, federally funded Summer Eats Program. To learn more about this program and to find a location near you visit: https://www.projectbread.org/summer-eats-program

On June 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the disbursement of an additional 2 million at home free, rapid COVID-19 test kits to be distributed by municipalities to Massachusetts residents. The communities of the 2nd Essex District will receive the following number of tests:

  • 15,300 for Beverly
  • 10,080 for Danvers
  • 19,260 for Peabody
  • 15,660 for Salem
  • 2,340 for Topsfield

On June 29th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced an additional $7 million in funding to support organizations hardest hit by COVID-19 to increase access to vaccines and education efforts surrounding the pandemic. The press release is available to read online.

With electricity bills expected to rise the summer, Attorney General Maura Healy has created a helpful list of tips, resources and assistance programs to keep consumer costs down. Visit her website to see how you can reduce your energy costs this season. 

Americans can continue to pick up N95 masks at pharmacies and community health centers across the nation, following the Biden-Administration’s announcement last month calling for the disbursement of 400 million free masks from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile. 

All U.S households can order an additional 8 free at home COVID-19 test kits from the federal government, for a total of 16 tests. I encourage all North Shore residents and families to use this opportunity to continue to keep themselves and others safe and healthy. You can order your tests online at https://www.covidtests.gov/

In addition, all Massachusetts insurance companies will now pay for eight rapid tests per person per month. Medicare also announced that it would cover the rapid tests.

In May, the Baker-Polito Administration, in collaboration with Color Health, launched a free telehealth program to help Massachusetts residents 18 years and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, access treatment. This age group can now participate in free video health consultations with trained physicians to see if they are eligible for Paxlovid, an oral COVID-19 treatment pill. To learn more and to access this program visit: www.mass.gov/covidtelehealth

If you or someone you know needs help finding infant formula, you can call or text the Maternal Health 24/7 hotline at 833-943-5746. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services also has helpful resources, guidance, and other information available here.

In March, the Baker-Polito Administration, in partnership with the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced that approximately 200,000 Massachusetts households would be seeing an increase in their SNAP benefits to combat rising utility costs. You can check your SNAP eligibility online or by calling (877) 382-2363.

In April, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the distribution of over 1 million iHealth Labs at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits to help expand access for Massachusetts residents who have been otherwise unable to access this health resource. These tests are being distributed through 8 of the Commonwealth’s largest food banks and food access organizations including: 

  • Greater Boston Food Bank
  • Worcester County Food Bank
  • The Food Bank of Western MA
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank
  • Community Servings
  • Daily Table
  • Food for Free
  • About Fresh

Massachusetts residents can now use their SNAP EBT benefits to purchase groceries from McKinnon’s Supermarkets, including the Danvers location, through Instacart. For more information about this program visit www.Mass.gov/SNAPOnline. To apply for SNAP or to check your eligibility online visit www.DTAConnect.com.

SNAP recipients looking to purchase more fruit and vegetables for their household are eligible to participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) which allows them to use SNAP benefits at participating HIP retailers. More information on HIP, retailers and eligible HIP foods is available online.

Farmers and farmers’ markets can apply for SNAP equipment grant funding through September 23rd, 2022. The full announcement and information on eligibility criteria are available on mass.gov.

The City of Salem and the Essex County Bar Association created a new Housing Stability Service. Salem residents can now access this service that offers renters and landlords information and resources to promote, maintain and secure housing. 

If you or someone you know needs to request a copy of their COVID-19 record from a state sponsored site, pharmacy or primary care provider, how to instructions are available online.

The MyVaxRecords tool allows Massachusetts residents to request a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccine card and vaccination history from the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS). Those requesting their digital COVID vaccine record can do so here.

Monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment is available to higher risk individuals who have been exposed to or have COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth. Treatment is free, but referral from a healthcare provider is generally required. Currently, 3 types of mAb treatment are available:

  • Sotrovimab (must be administered within 10 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
  • Remdesivir (must be given within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
  • Bebtelovimab (must be administered within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)

Click here to find a treatment location. 

Higher risk individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 also have the option to take oral therapeutics (pills) that are available in 2 forms: Paxlovid and Molnupiravir. Both of these medications must be taken within 5 days of your first COVID symptom and are free, however a doctor referral is necessary. To learn more about what COVID treatment options are available visit www.mass.gov/covidtreatments.

Mass211 is a 24/7 state sponsored hotline that connects Massachusetts residents to government benefits and resources, mental and physical health services, donation programs, non-profit organizations, etc. For a comprehensive list of all their support resources, visit their website. You can also call their toll-free number: 1-877-211-MASS (6277).

The Massachusetts Homebound Vaccination Program continues to provide in-home vaccinations for all eligible residents who are unable to get to a vaccination site. Residents can call 1-833-983-0485 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm to schedule an appointment.

Organizations can request mobile, on-site vaccination clinics through the Commonwealth’s Mobile Vaccination Program. Mobile vaccination services are available for employers, schools, community organizations, priority populations, and other groups. To request a mobile vaccination clinic, click here.

If you or someone you know needs to request a copy of their COVID-19 record from a state sponsored site, pharmacy or primary care provider, how to instructions are available online.

Massachusetts residents and families struggling to pay COVID-19 related funeral expenses for their loved ones can apply for financial assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). For information on how to apply to this program and to see what expense are covered visit FEMA’s website.

Residents struggling to pay for broadband internet can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This program provides a discount of up to $30 a month towards broadband service for eligible households. It also provides a 1-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop from participating provider​s.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated already existing issues facing many of our residents. If you are living or receiving treatment for breast cancer in Massachusetts, the Ellie Fund is here to help you. This incredible organization provides free, essential services to women battling breast cancer including: grocery assistance, meal delivery, transportation assistance, childcare reimbursement, light housekeeping and integrative therapies. Their full services page can be found online. To be eligible for these services, an individual need only be 1. in treatment for breast cancer and 2. be living or receiving treatment in Massachusetts.

The Centers for Disease Control website has national information on COVID-19 at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has created a resource guide for homeowners and renters who need help paying their mortgage or rent: Please visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-getting-help-with-housing-costs for additional information. 

The Department of Housing and Community Development expanded its Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program and created an Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program for residents who would otherwise not qualify for RAFT. Click here for more information on each program. Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development (LHAND) is the regional agency that serves residents of Beverly, Danvers, Peabody, Salem and Topsfield. Click here to apply for rental assistance through LHAND.

Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) is a cash benefits program administered through the Department of Transitional Assistance that offers economic assistance to pregnant individuals, families and caregivers. For more information and how to apply click here.

Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC) is another cash benefits program administered through the Department of Transitional Assistance. To check your eligibility and apply, visit their website: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/check-eaedc-eligibility-and-how-to-apply

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s website is updated with statewide information on COVID-19: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

MassSupport is a crisis counseling assistance program in Massachusetts. Call (888) 215-4920 or email masssupport@riversidecc.org if you or someone you know needs support. 

Call Nursing Home Family Resource Line (617) 660-5399 from 9 to 5 daily for information and resources about loved ones in nursing homes.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey launched www.FrontlineMA.org, which has resources for healthcare workers and first responders battling COVID-19.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the expansion of SafeLink, the Commonwealth’s 24/7 confidential domestic violence hotline, including services for survivors of sexual assault. Call (877) 785-2020 for resources and support.  

Massachusetts Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by The Children’s Trust and the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, launched Safe Kids Thrive, an incredible online resource for child and youth programs to help prevent child sexual abuse before it happens.

Attorney General Maura Healey launched an online complaint form for employees to report unsafe working conditions related to COVID-19. Residents can call (617) 727-3465 or file a complaint at: https://www.mass.gov/forms/report-unsafe-working-conditions-during-covid-19

If you are having trouble affording the food you need, call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at (800) 645-8333 or visit www.projectbread.org/gethelp to find out more about SNAP, Pandemic EBT, meal sites and other resources available to Massachusetts residents. 

We are fortunate to have the following food resources across the Second Essex District for individuals and families:

Haven From Hunger
The Salem Pantry
Danvers People to People Food Pantry
Top Cupboard Food Pantry
Beverly Bootstraps

My office and I are also talking with organizations working on food insecurity issues. I will continue to work to get these entities the resources they need to distribute food to those in need.

Criminal enterprises are using stolen personal information from earlier data breaches to file fraudulent unemployment claims through the Department of Unemployment system. If you or someone you know believes that a claim has been filed fraudulently file a report here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/report-unemployment-benefits-fraud

The Children’s Trust launched one tough job, a website with resources to engage children and to help parents during these challenging times.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services joined the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate and Department of Mental Health to launch handholdma.org, which provides resources and tools for parents and guardians concerned with the mental health of their school-aged children during COVID-19.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health launched a statewide campaign “More to the Story”, highlighting how phrases such as “I’m fine” and “doing ok” can hide underlying feelings. Ask, listen, encourage, and check in with family members and friends, especially young people, because there could be more to the story. 

Call or text Samaritans, Inc. free and confidential 24/7 Helpline at (877) 870-4673 if you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, lonely, or just need to talk.

Small Business Resources:
SBA’s Coronavirus Relief Options
Massachusetts Small Business Relief Package

Regional Resources:
MA State Peer Support Network for First Responders
North Shore: How You Can Help

Mental Health Resources:
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

City of Beverly

Beverly Health Department
Beverly Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Town of Danvers

Danvers Public Health Department

City of Peabody

Peabody Health Department
Peabody Main Streets: COVID-19 Assistance
Citizens Inn: COVID-19 Update
Peabody Community Development Authority (CDA)

City of Salem

Salem Health Department
Salem Main Streets: COVID-19 Resources
Salem Together

Town of Topsfield

Topsfield Health Department
Tri-Town Coronavirus Resources