Community Connections:
February 2, 2018
VITA offers Free tax preparation help starting February 1

With the holidays just behind us, can tax season be far away?

Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), BCOC is once again offering free assistance to low-income families in need of help to prepare their tax forms. All volunteers have been trained and certified by the IRS.

For many low-income families, the cost of having their taxes prepared creates an additional financial burden; or, they try and do them on their own and miss deductions they are entitled to receive.

In the over 10 years since this BCOC program began, we have prepared over 10,000 tax forms. Money saved through refunds, credits, and preparation-fee savings, totaling over $20 million, stayed in Bucks County’s economy as most clients spend returns on essentials such as food, school supplies, and other household bills.

If you or someone you know can be helped by this program, click here to be linked to a flyer with locations, hours of operation, and other details. We also ask you to please post this information around the community where those in need might see it. Thanks for your help in spreading the word about this free service.

A sincere thank-you to the Bucks County Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, and the First National Bank & Trust Co. of Newtown , for their generous support of VITA. 
Sign up now for your organization to participate in the
“Operation Helping Hand Food Drive”

Is your business, school, place of worship, scouts troop or other organization looking to help those in need of healthy, nutritious food this winter?

Operation Helping Hand Food Drive, organized by BCOC in partnership with the United Way of Bucks County, is in progress. Food will be collected through March 14, with a final delivery date to food pantries set for March 15, 2018. Sign up now to be part of this community-wide effort to help our neighbors. The goal this year is 67,000 pounds of nutritious food that will be shared among 31 food pantries in Bucks County.

Last year, hundreds of local groups participated and made it a huge success. Talk to your company, community groups and neighbors about joining us for this year’s drive. To register, and receive a “How to Get Started” toolkit, healthy food donation guidelines and plenty of tips, visit:

Special thanks to our lead sponsor: Inspire Federal Credit Union 
Upcoming Events
Registration Open for 2018 Hunger Forum

“Straight to the Core: Navigating Food Security in our Community,” a program of the Hunger Nutrition Coalition (HNC) of Bucks County, is set for Tuesday, March 6, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown. It is open to the public, free-of-charge.

New York Times Bestselling Author Leanne Brown, who wrote “Good and Cheap, Eat Well on $4/Day,” a healthy cookbook for food stamp budgets, is the keynote speaker.

HNC is a group of hunger relief partners, including the Bucks County Opportunity Council, whose mission is to ensure food security and access to healthy, nutritious meals for all residents of Bucks County through educating, connecting and promoting the efforts of hunger relief partners.

The Coalition meets several times a year and invites anyone with an interest in this issue to join.

Special thanks to St. Mary Medical Center for supporting this event.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.
For additional program details, and to register, visit: .

For information on event sponsorship opportunities, contact Joe Cuozzo, BCOC’s Director of Development, at or 215-345-8175, ext. 204.   
Become a Bridge Builder! 

A monthly gift helps us plan for the future knowing we can count on you for regular support.

It’s easy!! 

· Donations are automatically deducted every month from your credit or debit card.   

· Your donation will go immediately to help someone in need in Bucks County. 

Thank you Dominion Energy
Thank you to the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation for supporting our Weatherization Program! Pictured left to right, Joe Cuozzo, BCOC Director of Development, Dominion Energy Station Manager Robert Sauer, and Erin Lukoss, BCOC Executive Director.
Bucks County Opportunity Council 215-345-8175