Monday, July 16, 2012

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: July 16, 2012

Federal Policy Updates 

HELP SUPPORT THE CHILD TAX CREDIT AND EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

Congressman Richard Neal is introducing a bill to continue the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit in their current form for another year.

In 2010, the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit together lifted 9.2 million people out of poverty, including 4.9 million children. The improvements now scheduled to expire kept 1.6 million of these people out of poverty. For more information, see the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Studies Show Earned Income Tax Credit Encourages Work and Success in School and Reduces Poverty

Organizations that support these program are being asked to show your support. All you have to do is to send an email to one of the following people by noon, Tuesday, July 17, saying that your organization (local, state, or national in scope) can be listed in support. Email Adam at Larose@cbpp.org or Stuart at Russell@cbpp.org.

State Policy Updates 

ELIMINATION OF GENERAL ASSISTANCE DELAYED UNTIL AUG. 1

General Assistance, a program of last-resort that provides a bridge to stability and self-sufficiency for over 68,000 Pennsylvanians, was eliminated in this year’s state budget. The program was to end July 1 but it was delayed one month.

The program was a safety net program for Pennsylvanians who are unable to work, providing them access to critical medical care and a small cash grant ($205 a month in most counties) with rigid restrictions.

It is crucial that individuals currently receiving General Assistance are aware that the program is ending. Community Legal Services has put together a flyer you can post and share with your clients. They have also written a fact sheet with answers to some frequently asked questions about the program ending.

VOTER ID LAW RALLIES

Pennsylvania recently passed a Voter ID law, which requires that individuals show a government issued form of identification when they go to vote. This law will be in full effect for the November election.

To draw attention to this law two groups, the NAACP and AARP, are holding rallies. According to state election officials, over 758,000 registered voters in PA lack the necessary ID to vote in the November general elections. More Pennsylvanians need to be aware of this law and prepared to vote.

NAACP Rally for Justice 

WHEN: July 24th, 1:00 pm
WHERE: Harrisburg State Capitol, Front Steps

Please RSVP to: John W. Jordan, Director of Civic Engagement, NAACP of Pennsylvania at j715jordan@yahoo.com or (215) 715-5681.

For more information visit www.pastatenaacp.org or www.thisismyvote.org.

AARP-Sponsored Voter ID Rally in Philadelphia 

WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 12 noon
WHERE: Peoples Plaza, 5th and Market Street (Southwest Corner), Philadelphia

For more information, contact the AARP Office in Philadelphia at 267-825-9923. You can also following then on Facebook, www.facebook.com/aarppa, and Twitter, www.twitter.com/aarppa.

Information & Events 

NEW HOTLINE HELPS FAMILIES FIND FREE SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS

Families in Philadelphia can call a toll-free hotline to find nearby locations that offer free summer meals for children. Operated by the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, the hotline is 1-855-252-MEAL (6325). Families can also text “MEAL” to 84700 to receive a call back.

Last year, more than 119,000 children in Pennsylvania received summer meals. But that’s less than one-fourth of the 553,000 low-income children who received free or reduced-priced lunch during the regular school year—a sign that many low-income children who need summer meals aren’t getting them, according to a recent report from the Food Research and Action Center.

Free summer meals are available to children age 18 and under. There is no registration or income requirement at most sites. For more information, visit here.

PCA OFFERS PRODUCE VOUCHERS TO LOW-INCOME OLDER ADULTS

The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging has begun distributing Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program produce vouchers as part of an annual program to encourage seniors to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eligible Philadelphia seniors can receive $20 worth of vouchers for use at certified Farmers’ Markets in Philadelphia. The program also increases awareness of sources of fresh produce in local communities.

Income-eligible Philadelphia residents, age 60 or older by December 31, 2012, may receive the vouchers at PCA, 642 North Broad Street in Philadelphia (weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and at other designated sites. Vouchers will also be distributed at the Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch Sts., on July 18th, from 10am to 2pm. Proof of age and residency in Philadelphia must be presented to receive vouchers. Acceptable forms of identification include Pennsylvania driver’s license, Pennsylvania non-driver’s ID, or a utility bill. Income guidelines apply.

For questions about eligibility and more information, including voucher distribution sites, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040.

FEDERAL SUPPORTS FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENT PARENTS: SPOTLIGHT ON THE PREGNANCY ASSISTANCE FUND

This webinar is hosted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research's Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI).

WHEN: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 2:00-3:15 p.m. E.T.

Too often the birth of a child brings an end to a young mother's education or leads those around her to give up on her prospects for college.

The webinar will feature a federal initiative, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, that provides resources to help pregnant and parenting adolescents and young adults attain high school or college education. The webinar will focus on early program lessons and strategies used by grantees who work to encourage and support college education among young parents.

Topics include:
  • An overview of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, its mission, scope and funding; 
  • How states take leadership in program design, administering, scaling up, and replicating local initiatives; and 
  • Perspectives from local program administrators regarding benefits, challenges and implementation experiences. 
Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions and comments to be addressed by presenters near the end of the event.

You must be registered to access the event. Register online! 

PENNSERVE SURVEY: SERVICE AND YOUR COMMUNITY

PennSERVE: The Governor's Office of Citizen Service is the state agency for community service, volunteerism and service learning in our Commonwealth. As the oversight organization for national service in Pennsylvania, they provide support for the AmeriCorps programs and encourage civic engagement in order to improve the quality of life in Pennsylvania communities through effective volunteer service.

PennSERVE is in the process of gathering information for their three-year strategic plan, to be known as the Pennsylvania State Service Plan, and have developed a brief survey so that citizens may provide input that will inform their work. It is PennSERVE’s expectation that in this way they may more efficiently and effectively benefit Pennsylvanians and the communities in which they live.

The survey may be found at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PennSERVE_State_Service_Plan_Survey.

Results of the survey will be compiled and tabulated in September 2012, and made available for viewing on PennSERVE’s website. The 2012-2015 State Service Plan will be published in November 2012.

For more information about PennSERVE and AmeriCorps presence across the state, kindly visit our website at http://www.dli.state.pa.us/pennserve.

NOMINATE A YOUNG WOMAN FOR THE EDNA AWARD BY JULY 31

For the second year in a row, the Berger-Marks Foundation is offering its $10,000 Edna Award to an outstanding young woman leader in the social justice.

The Edna Award will spotlight the contributions to social justice made by women age 35 and younger. It will honor one woman who has made an extraordinary contribution early in her career – and whose ongoing work will likely improve the lives of working women and men. The top Edna Award will be presented to the winner in a fall ceremony, which also will recognize several runners-up.

Nominations will be accepted online only through July 31, and will be judged by a panel of well-known leaders who are also women. Find out more on their website at www.bergermarks.org.

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