Media Advisory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 29, 2017                                                                                    Contact:  Ellen M. Ganley, Director of Development  508 762-9807 
WCAC awarded $62K Health Foundation Activation Grant
Program to address needs of unbanked & underbanked
Worcester, Massachusetts - Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) has been awarded a $62,000 grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts Activation Fund to develop and implement a creative model to address poverty as a community health concern, bringing together community-based organizations, local government, and financial institutions to meet the needs of those striving to improve financial health and stability. 

To be known as BankOn Worcester County, the project will address the high number of unbanked and underbanked individuals in Worcester County, specifically within the City of Worcester and Town of Southbridge.

"We are most grateful for the support of The Health Foundation for this important initiative," said WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis. "Asset development is a key component of WCAC's mission in helping individuals and families reach self-sufficiency. We recognize the need for additional financial literacy opportunities and look forward to engaging our local financial institutions to assist with these efforts."

Partners will seek solutions to increase access and decrease barriers to banking through the development of safe and affordable products and options, as well as financial education opportunities to meet the needs of low-to-moderate income individuals and families in Worcester and Southbridge.

Preliminary planning meetings and partnership recruitment for the Bank On Worcester County campaign are underway, with an anticipated launch in conjunction with the city-wide  Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in January 2018.

"The goal of the Activation Fund is to enable an organization to move to a higher level of capacity and to then continue to function at that higher level after the grant ends," said Dr. Jan Yost, president and CEO of The Health Foundation. WCAC's grant was part of a total of $694,516 allocated, the second-highest amount ever awarded by The Health Foundation in a single year.
About WCAC

Since 1965, the Worcester Community Action Council has served as the federally designated anti-poverty agency for central and southern Worcester County, with a mission of helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and 45 neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield and Westborough.  
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