Community Action News

May 2020

Jason Parent
President of the Board
Megan Hannan
Executive Director
May is Community Awareness Month!
We have a New Executive Director and a New Name

A Note from Jason Parent, President of the Board and
In this first edition of our statewide newsletter, we are pleased to officially welcome Megan Hannan as our new executive director to usher in an exciting chapter for community action in Maine. Megan is an advocate known statewide for her work in public health and healthcare policy. She officially assumed her role as Executive Director at the beginning of the year and has hit the ground running, bringing her great talent and energy to our work as we move toward creating a new, more cohesive statewide system. Megan, who lives in Bath, has previously served in key leadership and advocacy roles for the Maine Women’s Fund, the Portland-based Frannie Peabody Center, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the American Cancer Society. My colleagues across the state and I could not be more pleased to have Megan leading our work statewide!
Maine Community Action Association is now
Maine Community Action Partnership
This month is a great time to introduce you to our updated name and branding to reflect our affiliation with our sister organizations around the country and with our national partners. We offer the same advocacy and services, now even better.
The coronavirus pandemic is challenging people all across the state and every demographic, but, as is always the case, those with low and moderate income are impacted more and will feel the effects longer. The increase in the need for support in Maine is reflected in the quick and nimble response Community Action Agencies (CAAs) have undertaken and will continue to provide as long as necessary.
Here are just a few examples of many:
Midcoast Maine Community Action (MMCA) is providing a meal program to serve children who are experiencing food insecurity due to the coronavirus pandemic. Any child under the age of 19 living in northern Cumberland, Sagadahoc or Lincoln County may benefit. For MMCA’s Head Start families, pickup may include extras such as produce, school supplies, toiletries and special requests.
The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) raised close to $3,000 for diaper relief— double their goal of $1,500! With the support of dozens of generous individuals, TOA will continue to partner with the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine to provide emergency diaper relief for hundreds of families during this unprecedented time of need.
Diapers are as essential to a baby's healthy development as a mother's love. Keeping infants and toddlers clean, dry and healthy is key to building a solid foundation for all children to reach their full potential, but one in three families struggle to provide clean diapers for their baby.  Since the crisis began, staff have delivered over 20,000 diapers.
Community Concepts, Inc. (CCI) CEO Shawn Yardley discusses how CCI pivoted their work to meet new needs for families during the pandemic. He was invited to share their success in a national video hosted by David Bradley of the National Community Action Foundation.
In the past year...

Community Action Agencies assisted over 120,000 individuals, serving over 65,000 families
  • 5,696 Children in Pre-School Programs
  • 2,366 Adult Education Programs
  • 6,308 Households Have Improved Weatherization or Energy Efficiency
  • 1,727 Teens and Adults Participated in Job Training
  • 46,945 Reported Healthier Living
  • 13,164 Reported Improved Leadership, Social Skills and Engagement

And much more…
Don’t forget the Census!

Your participation matters to us all. Take just five minutes to visit 2020Census .gov , or call your local Community Action Agency for help.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers and many other use to provide services, products and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and yes - even CAAs.

All children and adults in your household count, so "kiss 'em and count 'em"
Policy Priorities 2020

The Maine Legislature adjourned early as a result of the coronavirus Stay at Home order, but our advocacy is not done. This year we advocated for:

We are still hopeful that bills on the appropriations table and left in committee will be reconsidered and funded when the Legislature returns.

And in Congress, the CARES Act funded $1 billion for Community Service Block Grants, an important funding source for community action agencies. Maine’s share is expected to be about $5.2 million, and it will be used start new and/or continue programs supporting people adversely affected by the pandemic. It also included funds for Head Start and Early Head Start and allows those programs to open flexible summer programs so students who have missed months of school are ready to enter kindergarten and first grade.