City of Boston: Mayor Janey Launches Chatbot To Connect To Food Resources; Food Donations Platform

City of Boston: Mayor Janey Launches Chatbot To Connect To Food Resources; Food Donations Platform. “Mayor Kim Janey and the Mayor’s Office of Food Access (OFA) today announced the launch of the food resources SMS chatbot and the online food donations platform. Both initiatives respond to goals included in Boston’s Food Access Agenda, aiming to strengthen the citywide food access network by efficiently connecting existing programs and resources to better serve the community. “

F&W Game Changers: Fridges for All (Food & Wine)

New-to-me, from Food & Wine: F&W Game Changers: Fridges for All. “Unlike food pantries or other forms of food assistance, community fridges don’t attract large crowds or require interpersonal contact, making them particularly COVID-friendly. Masked volunteers fill the fridges with groceries purchased thanks to donations, often through Venmo or Cash App, and community members can add food to the fridges, too. While the concept has existed for years, the coronavirus pandemic has spurred a surge in community-generated support; fridges have become vital sources of fresh, easily accessible foods in Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Chicago, and more cities around the country.”

IRS: IRS unveils online tool to help low-income families register for monthly Child Tax Credit payments

IRS: IRS unveils online tool to help low-income families register for monthly Child Tax Credit payments. “The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today unveiled an online Non-filer Sign-up tool designed to help eligible families who don’t normally file tax returns register for the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments, scheduled to begin July 15. This tool, an update of last year’s IRS Non-filers tool, is also designed to help eligible individuals who don’t normally file income tax returns register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments (also known as stimulus checks) and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed.”

The Verge: New York State just passed a law requiring ISPs to offer $15 broadband

The Verge: New York State just passed a law requiring ISPs to offer $15 broadband For low-income households, which seems quite a thing to leave out of the headline. “According to NY Assembly member Amy Paulin (via Bloomberg), the average price of broadband in New York is currently $50. This new bill caps the price at $15 for regular broadband and $20 for high-speed broadband, but only for those who qualify as low income. That’s still over 7 million people in 2.7 million households according to a press release from Cuomo’s office.”

Route Fifty: Lawmakers Urge Internet Companies to Join New Discount Broadband Program

Route Fifty: Lawmakers Urge Internet Companies to Join New Discount Broadband Program. “The $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, approved in December, will offer a $50-a-month discount to eligible households. The Federal Communications Commission is working to get the program up and running by the end of April, and lawmakers said providers should do their part to let consumers across the country know about it.”

News Center Maine: Maine DHHS now offering free transportation to Mainers who need rides to COVID-19 vaccine clinics

News Center Maine: Maine DHHS now offering free transportation to Mainers who need rides to COVID-19 vaccine clinics. “Maine DHHS is partnering with ModivCare, one of the organizations that coordinates rides for MaineCare members, to provide rides for any Maine resident who is unable to drive, lacks reliable transportation or is otherwise unable to travel to their appointment.”

CNN: Are you eligible for the FCC’s emergency internet discount program? Here’s how to find out

CNN: Are you eligible for the FCC’s emergency internet discount program? Here’s how to find out. “The program will provide discounts of up to $50 a month, or $75 on Tribal lands, for broadband service for low-income households. It also includes a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased from certain providers, which are yet to be named but are likely to include major wireless network operators, among others.”

CNN: FCC approves $50 monthly internet subsidies for low-income households during pandemic

CNN: FCC approves $50 monthly internet subsidies for low-income households during pandemic. “The agency’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides eligible low-income households with up to a $50 per month credit on their internet bills through their provider until the end of the pandemic. In tribal areas, eligible households may receive up to $75 per month. The program also provides eligible households up to $100 off of one computer or tablet.”

Milton Courier: State Bar launches pro bono website to connect lawyers with their communities

Milton Courier: State Bar launches pro bono website to connect lawyers with their communities. “Low-income Wisconsinites facing civil legal challenges can receive free legal help from pro bono attorneys. A new website… enables attorneys and law students to match their skills and interests with opportunities available through legal agencies, such as Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare.”

CNET: Phones for low-income users hacked before they’re turned on, research finds

CNET: Phones for low-income users hacked before they’re turned on, research finds. “Adware isn’t a problem just for [Rameez] Anwar and other users who have the same phone model, made by American Network Solutions. Because the phones and their service plans were subsidized by a US program, taxpayers were funding the data that was used to display the promotional campaigns. On top of that, the adware prevented the phones doing their intended job: keeping low-income people connected to vital services via phone and internet.”

WTHR: IRS launches new tool for low-income Americans who haven’t received stimulus checks

WTHR: IRS launches new tool for low-income Americans who haven’t received stimulus checks. “The IRS said on Wednesday it launched a non-filers tool for Americans who aren’t required to file a tax return to register for a payment. The non-filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles. This includes couples and individuals who are homeless. This tool does not need to be used by anyone who has already filed either a 2018 or 2019 tax return.”

The State: Need help finding free preschool for your child? SC has a new website to help

The State: Need help finding free preschool for your child? SC has a new website to help. “Parents who want to find a free pre-kindergarten program for their children — and to see if they are eligible for that assistance — now have an easier way to find out. South Carolina this week formally launched…an online portal to help families find free or subsidized preschool programs.”

Medical University of South Carolina: AI tool studied as way to provide cancer risk assessment in low-resource communities

Medical University of South Carolina: AI tool studied as way to provide cancer risk assessment in low-resource communities. “Originally designed as a type of social network provided through an app, ItRunsInMyFamily has evolved into a simple informatics tool that uses artificial intelligence and social networking to collect family health history from patients. Participants complete a short 10-minute questionnaire easily accessible through a website. The free survey, which was built by cancer and informatics experts, using the most current health care guidelines and models, helps individuals do a comprehensive hereditary risk assessment.”

KELO: Low-income South Dakotans can seek legal help on many issues through new website

KELO: Low-income South Dakotans can seek legal help on many issues through new website. “A new online tool that links lower-income South Dakotans and lawyers seems to be much faster than the old way, where legal-aid staff directly took people’s initial information…. What previously took up to an hour or longer can now be done in as little five to 10 minutes by computer.”