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

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Mass. poverty levels halved by assistance programs, says report

As reported by Paige Smith, Boston Business Journal:

Massachusetts poverty levels would double if not for assistance programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), according to a study by two local nonprofits.

Public Programs Cut Child Poverty by More than Half, According to New Report on Poverty in Massachusetts

Report Commissioned by MASSCAP and Written by MassBudget Looks at
“Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward Together”

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).

Community Action rebrands itself

As reported by Steve Pfarrer, Greenfield Recorder, February 19, 2018:

With a new year — and new challenges — ahead, the Pioneer Valley’s premier anti-poverty agency has revised its name and logo to make sure its mission is clear, both to people it assists and to western Massachusetts residents in general.

Press Release: In Response to Proposed FY19 Federal Budget Blueprint

Statement from Joe Diamond, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, In Response to Proposed Federal Budget Blueprint:

“The budget proposed by the Trump administration is a cruel one, especially in light of the new tax law that in almost every way favors the rich.

Sober support program expands amid rise in alcohol abuse

As reported by Joann MacKenzie, Staff Writer, Gloucester Times:

In a recent community needs assessment conducted by local health officials and other stakeholders, alcohol, not opioids, emerged as a greater issue, says Jennifer Beloff, director of Action Inc.’s Client and Housing Services.

Community Action Agencies and MASSCAP Kick Off Tax Season with 2018 Launch of Volunteer Tax Assistance Program that Aids Low Income Families

Full Press Release – English
Full Press Release – Spanish

The Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) and the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council today joined State Senator Barbara L’Italien (D – Andover), State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D – Newburyport), State Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D – Methuen), State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D – Methuen), State Representative Juana Matias (D – Lawrence), and State Representative Frank Moran (D – Lawrence) in kicking off this year’s tax season by launching the annual volunteer tax assistance program (VITA).