Read the latest MASSCAP news including network and agency news, policy and program updates, and opinion and advocacy pieces.

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COVID-19 Response: Community Action Ready to Help

Updated 4/7/20

The pandemic is affecting our lives in profound and unexpected ways.  As completely unexpected as this pandemic is, we are not surprised at all at how we are all pulling together and adjusting so that we can continue to help, protect, and support the people we serve.

More Than Half of State Legislators Urge Inclusion of Fuel Assistance in State FY 20 Supplemental Budget

Thousands of Households Have Run Out of Home Heating Oil
Advocates Call for Formal Federal/State Partnership

In response to a second consecutive reduction in federal fuel assistance resources legislators in the Senate led by Senators Hinds and Tarr, and in the House, led by Representatives Mark and Wong, joined last week by more than half of their colleagues, urged budget writers in both chambers to include $15 million for fuel assistance in the FY20 Supplemental Budget. 

Federal Home Heating Aid Not Meeting Families’ Needs, Lawmakers Warn

As Reported by Chris Lisinski, State House News:

Additional $15M In New State Heating Aid Sought

Thousands of Massachusetts families risk running out of heating oil this winter without additional assistance from the state, an advocate warned Wednesday as lawmakers began pushing for new funding to augment federal aid.

MASSCAP and Community Action Agencies Launch Annual Volunteer Free Tax Preparation Program that Aids Low Income Families

Earned Income Tax Awareness Day · Celebrating 50 years of VITA

Today the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) along with the Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC) and the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) were joined by Senator Sal DiDomenico, Representative Marjorie Decker, Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, and the Deputy Treasurer Alayna Van Tassel among others in kicking off this year’s tax season by launching the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) and celebrating 50 years of this critical program as well as recognizing the importance of accessing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Public Programs Cut Child Poverty by More than Half, According to Recent Report on Poverty in Massachusetts. Forum Looks at Impact of Public Programs on Poverty on the South Coast

Effective programs that help families to make ends meet, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, fuel assistance, school lunches, Head Start, and Social Security cut the number of people in Massachusetts living in poverty by almost half and reduce the number of children living in poverty by more than half, according to a new report on poverty called “Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together.” The report was commissioned by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) and written by Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget).