February 13, 2019
DID YOU KNOW: Public Programs Reduce Poverty
  • Public Programs cut poverty approximately in half in MA - keeping 920,000 (including +200,000 children) out of poverty.  
  • Head Start served more than 15,000 children last year - which is only 29% of income eligible 3-5 year olds - not only providing a safe and stable learning environment but also access to other services critical to health and well being of the whole family.
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) have kept 150,000 people out of poverty in MA.  
  • Heating Help Programs including Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) and Energy Efficiency Programs helped 160,000 households in MA last year including 36% children and 45% elderly.  
For more information and to access the data, "Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward" published in May 2018
The state funding for policy and programs are crucial in finding the way forward. Please join us in supporting a critical FY19 request as well as FY20 Priorities:

URGENT FY19 Need for Fuel Assistance
Strengthen Critical Human Services Infrastructure (FY20)
  • Support legislation (HD783/SD867) to address inequality, promote opportunity and end poverty. Authorize line item to strengthen communities and support Community Action Agencies ($5M).
Strengthen Families: Affordable, Accessible Early Education & Care (FY20)
  • Increase Early Education Teacher Salaries ($24.5M)
  • Increase Head Start ($15M) and Child Resources Referral Access Management ($9.6M)
Bridge the Wage Gap (FY20)
  • Provide resources for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA, $800K)
  • Expand Earned Income Tax Credit to 50% of federal credit ($460M)
Create a Foundation for Economic Opportunity (FY20)
  • Support Unaccompanied Youth Housing and Wrap Around Services ($5m)
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Collaboration Essential
If there is one thing we know and all agree on, the way forward is through collaboration.  Collaboration on all levels - in communities between organizations and residents, with local leaders, with state leaders and with federal leaders.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Statewide Kickoff on January 25, 2019 involved collaboration between MASSCAP, Montachusett Opportunity Council (MOC), Senator Dean Tran, Representative Natalie Higgins and  Representative Stephan Hay (all pictured on left), Senator Warren's State Outreach & Regional Director Everett HandfordFitchburg Mayor Dinatale, MA Department of Revenue Commissioner Christopher Harding and Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General's Keenan Grooms as well as allied organizations MassBudget and Children's Healthwatch.

VITA Sites not only provide free tax prep services by IRS certified volunteers and access to the EITC and other tax credits, but also link tax payers to other critical services.  For more information, visit
We urge you to support our budget request for $30M in MA state FY19 supplemental budget for fuel assistance.   Visit for more information about fuel assistance and the agency serving your area.

We urge you to support the FY20 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity.

Our Mission
To strengthen and connect the statewide network of Community Action Agencies and collectively advocate for an end to poverty.

Our Vision
All MA residents will be able to meet their basic needs, access economic opportunities, build strong communities and move toward prosperity...

Find your Agency
There are 23 Community Action Agencies in Massachusetts serving virtually every city and town in the state.   To locate the agency in your area and learn more about the programs they offer,  click here .

Read our 2017 Annual Report
                                              #End PovertyMA