SECTION 1. Section 30 of Chapter 23B of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof the following:-
"G. The department shall develop a pilot program in the Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Berkshire regions of western Massachusetts to assess the need for and to provide nutritious meals to those homeless families placed in hotels and motels in said region, provided further, that the department shall create a working group including, but not limited to the department of transitional assistance, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Smith College School of Social Work, the department of children and families, the department of mental health, the department of elementary and secondary education, Project Bread, the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, faith based organizations, CISA, the Department of Agricultural Resources, the network of food pantries and survival centers, the Food Bank of western Massachusetts, HAP, the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, the Western Massachusetts Council of Human Services Providers and regional community action agencies. Said pilot project shall develop methods and funding sources to provide access to nutritious meals, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to those temporarily housed in hotels and motels. The working group shall also investigate the methods of creating weekly "family homework nights" at schools attended by homeless children, where all students at each school selected, families and educational professionals can meet in a school setting to complete homework, get extra schoolwork help, socialize in a safe setting, access human services programs and receive a hot, nutritious meal. The department working group shall assess the cost and effectiveness of these initiatives and present its findings to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Executive Office of Administration and Finance twice each year."
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