NCAF – Trump’s Budget Puts Americans Last

This morning, the Trump Administration’s first full budget proposal was released. This budget takes aim at three highly effective, and widely supported, programs central to Community Action Agencies throughout the nation: the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Continue reading

Support OACAC in Give Ozarks Day May 9!

Written by Lindsey Dumas-Bell, OACAC Resource Development Manager

On Tuesday, May 9, OACAC will be participating for a second year in Give Ozarks Day, which is a 24-hour online fundraising campaign to raise awareness and support for over 220 organizations across the Ozarks affiliated with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.  We invite and encourage all Community Action Agency staff and friends to help us Fill the GAP through an online donation of $5 or more.  The GAP is our Grant Assistance Pot of money which is used to fill the gaps in need for the people we serve – specifically, these are the needs our community has our federal funding doesn’t include.  Continue reading

Celebrate with NECAC!

The not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) is hosting a public reception in Warren County in observance of National Community Action Month. NECAC is joining the 18 other Community Action Agencies in Missouri and a network of more than 1,000 agencies across the nation in observance of Community Action Month.  Continue reading

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency Executive Director Retiring

After completing nine years as the Executive Director and nearly 35 years with the Agency, the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA) Board of Directors announces the retirement of Pam LaFrenz effective June 30, 2017. LaFrenz came to the agency in 1982 as Head Start director and served in that capacity until 2008 when she was promoted to executive director. Continue reading

Membership Campaign Results!

Missouri CAN’s Membership Campaign “I CAN, We CAN, Missouri CAN” ran from December 15, 2016 to March 15, 2017. Missouri CAN increased membership by 7% or 149 new members. We drew and announced the following campaign winners at our 2017 Missouri CAN Annual Conference in April. Continue reading

Lunafest Springfield: March 25

LUNAFEST features nine short films by, for and about women, filled with stories of reflection, hope and humor. Join us as we bring this to Springfield for the first time, benefiting Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Family Planning and the Breast Cancer Fund. Watch the LUNAFEST trailer and purchase tickets at

Train Now Online!

Take online courses for free through Missouri CAN University - Moodle!  These trainings are short, 5-10 minute video segments on various Community Action topics. This winter, we're launching new courses from January through March. Here are the newest courses:  

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MOCA holds High Tunnel Ribbon Cutting

Post written by Barry Mullins, Resource Development Coordinator/Program Planner at Missouri Ozarks Community Action 

On October 12, 2016 Missouri Ozarks Community Action (MOCA) announced the opening of its newly constructed Richland Community Garden High Tunnel. The ceremony was officiated by MOCA’s Executive Director, David Miller. Honored guests were State Representative Steve Lynch, MOCA’s Board President Don Myers, Boy Scouts Ozarks Trails Council Executive Board Member David Cartner, USDA’s District Conservationist Mike Morris, Darlene Merritt of Lowes Home Improvement, Richland Chamber President Carrie Turner and members of the Richland Chamber of Commerce, fellow MOCA team members, volunteers, and community members. Continue reading

3 Reasons I’m Proud to Work in Weatherization

Post written by Margarite Stever, Economic Security Corporation's Weatherization Assistant

margarite stever weatherization director photoI am extremely proud to work for Economic Security Corporation’s Weatherization Program. I have worked for this program for seven years. I am extremely proud to work for Economic Security Corporation’s Weatherization Program. I have worked for this program for seven years, and have seen hundreds of homes reap the benefits of energy saving techniques and health and safety measures. Many of our clients were living in dangerous conditions when we arrived at their homes. years, and have seen hundreds of homes reap the benefits of energy saving techniques and health and safety measures. Many of our clients were living in dangerous conditions when we arrived at their homes. 

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DIY Home Energy Audit Pt. 2

This post originally appeared on U.S. Department of Energy's website.

Inspect Heating and Cooling Equipment

Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually, or as recommended by the manufacturer. If you have a forced-air furnace, check your filters and replace them as needed. Generally, you should change them about once every month or two, especially during periods of high usage. Have a professional check and clean your equipment once a year.

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DIY Home Energy Audit

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit Pt. 1

This post originally appeared on U.S. Department of Energy's website.

While a professional home energy audit is the best way to determine where your home is losing energy and where you can save, you can conduct your own simple but diligent walk-through and spot many problems in any type of house. This "do-it-yourself" home energy audit will not be as thorough as a professional home energy assessment, but it can help you pinpoint some of the easier areas to address.

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Energy Saving 101

Check out this infographic from on some home-energy saving tips. Be sure to share with your friends & family to celebrate Weatherization's 40th anniversary this month! #WAP40yrs 

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Filling the Gaps

A history and overview of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) from its inception in 1977. For 40 years, Weatherization has helped Americans by making homes safer and energy more affordable across the nation. Learn more in this video from National Association for State Community Services below:

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Home Energy Affordability Gap

What is the Home Energy Affordability Gap?

The Home Energy Affordability Gap is the gap between “affordable” home energy bills and “actual home energy bills. In 2015, the Home Energy Affordability Gap for those near or below the federal poverty line was calculated to be $40 billion nationwide ( 

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Weatherization Works

Post written by Margarite Stever, Economic Security Corporation Weatherization Assistant 

Most people think about weatherization when the weather turns cold. Weatherization measures help you save money every month. The techniques we use such as insulation, caulking, weather stripping, and proper use of expansion foam help keep your home comfortable year round. It helps keep the heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer. Weatherization can lower your heating and cooling bills by an average of 35%.

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Missouri poverty drops in 2015, household income and health coverage rises

Poverty disproportionately affects Missourians of color and children

2015povertygraphic_poverty2015The number of Missourians living in poverty declined last year, while median household income and those with health coverage rose.

Overall, 875,495 Missourians, or 14.8 percent, experienced poverty in 2015. This data is compared to the Missouri 908,628 households or 15.5 percent in 2014 according to the recently released American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Missouri’s median household income was $50,238 up from the $48,363 median in 2014.

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Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation – Community Treatment, Inc Dental Partnership Highlight

Post written by Courtney Kohler, Missouri CAN Program Director 

A two generation approach to alleviating poverty involves serving both the parents and children within a family holistically.  This approach is said to have the greatest impact in deterring generational poverty.  Health is one area where this is especially true – healthy parents, healthy children.  Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation (JFCAC) takes this approach in the partnership they have with Community Treatment, Inc (COMTREA).  Dental services are provided for the whole family – from the pregnant mother to the child.  Read on for JFCAC’s partnership testimony: 

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Economic Security Corporation – Access Dental Care Partnership Highlight

Post written by Courtney Kohler, Missouri CAN Program Director

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is one of the most common conditions of childhood in the United States.  Untreated, this can cause pain and infections, which leads to difficulty eating, speaking, playing, and learning.  The percentage of children and adolescents with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for those from low-income families (25%) compared with children from higher-income households (11%).

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Partnering for Head Start Heroes

CAPSTJOE –Northwest Health Services Partnership Highlight

Post written by Courtney Kohler, Missouri CAN Program Director

Community Action Agencies work to address health needs in their communities through programs, partnering, and referring clients to available resources.  One great example is the partnership between the Community Action Partnership of Greater St. Joseph (CAPSTJOE) and Northwest Health Services (NHS).  This partnership has worked to benefit Head Start children and families, resulting in some amazing outcomes highlighted below: 

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Trauma Informed Care

You Can Make a Difference!

Post written by Becky King, Missouri CAN Training Manager 

Check out this blog post packed with information and resources to aid you in becoming trauma-informed. You’ll gain an understanding on the impacts of trauma to mental and physical health, develop a sense of the precautions needed when interacting with trauma exposed individuals, and be provided additional resources for further learning: 

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Partnering for a Healthy Mid-Missouri

CMCA – Community Health Center of Central Missouri Partnership Highlight

Post written by Courtney Kohler, Missouri CAN Program Director

Community Action brings together like-minded organizations to address needs in the community.  Issues such as health and poverty correlate—impacting life expectancy and access to healthcare.  To curb these issues, partnerships between Community Action Agencies and local health centers are vital.  Below is one partnership that is impacting the community in a positive way toward better health outcomes:       

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Building Relationships

Advocate Effectively

In order to become an effective advocate, you need to build relationships. Check out this infographic for some tips and tricks on how to build effective relationships with legislators and their staff:

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Welcome to Health Advocacy Month!

Happy August! Missouri CAN is excited to be kicking off Health Advocacy Month today. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing advocacy tips and best practices, as well as highlighting some Community Action health advocacy initiatives. Keep reading to find out more!

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Preserving our Past

Meet our Historical Archive Intern

Today’s blog highlights one of the faces at Missouri CAN this summer – Earl Haug, our Historical Archive Intern. Earl has been working behind the scenes at the office to help preserve the history of the Missouri Community Action Network. Read on to learn more about what Earl’s been up to:

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2016 Charles Braithwait Leadership Award

Congrats to Williams “Bill” Bunch!

At the 2016 Missouri CAN Conference in St. Louis, William "Bill" Bunch of East Missouri Action Agency was presented with the Charles Braithwait Leadership Award. Presenting the award was Elaine West, the 2013 Braithwait recipient and former executive director of Missouri CAN (formerly MACA).

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3 Ways Poverty Simulations make you Rethink Poverty

Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families. But unless you've experienced poverty, it's difficult to truly understand. The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) bridges that gap from misconception to understanding. CAPS, copyrighted by Missouri Community Action Network, is an interactive immersion experience that sensitizes community participants to the realities of poverty. Read on to learn how Poverty Simulations make you Rethink Poverty:

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3 Reasons to Link Up

Our Link Up one-day nonprofit conference is right around the corner! We hope to see you in STL on June 22 along with other Missouri nonprofit leaders. Together, we can build a thriving Missouri!

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A conversation with Robert Putnam

Harvard professor, Link Up keynote

We recently caught up with Robert Putnam, Harvard professor, and author of “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.” Dr. Putnam will be the keynote speaker for our Link Up One-Day Conference, which is Day 2 of the MACA Annual Conference, on June 22, 2016 in St. Louis. He will share information about the reality of the growing class and opportunity gap among young Americans. Read on for our conversation with Dr. Putnam and the opportunities he sees for our Network and generations to come: 

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The 4 Things Head Start Gave To Me

Guest blog from Cheyenne, Head Start graduate

Today’s blog is a guest post from Cheyenne, a graduate of Ozark Action, Inc’s Head Start program. Fourteen of our 19 Community Action Agencies manage Head Start Programs, which promotes school readiness for children and self-sufficiency for families. Read on to learn how Head Start impacted Cheyenne’s life:

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7 Ways to Sponsor MACA’s Annual Conference

The 2016 MACA Annual Conference is just around the corner! The theme for this year is “Community Action: Our Next 50 Years.” Within our conference, there will be a one-day conference for Missouri nonprofit leaders name “Link Up – Linking Nonprofit Leaders for a Thriving Missouri.” Link Up also includes a nonprofit and exhibitor networking reception. Read on for 7 ways your organization can support this event:

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MACA’s Hiring An Intern

Historical Archive Internship

Are you interested in capturing and recording historical records? Do you like interviewing primary sources and organizing information? Are you looking for a summer internship in Jefferson City that is paid? You’re in luck! MACA has an opening for a Historical Archive Intern this summer. Read on for more about the opportunity:

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15 wellness tips for your week

Sometimes, when you’re working in social services, it’s easy to forget to take time for yourself. Get a fresh start to your work week by taking a few minutes to focus on your health & wellness. Read on for 15 ways to renew and re-energize from the Missouri CAN team:

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Missouri Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

*Portions of information from this post are republished with permission from Missouri Budget Project (MBP), a nonprofit, objective, public policy analysis organization that provides independent research on complex state policy issues and how they impact all Missourians. Learn more on MBP’s website here.*

A prosperous Missouri requires a strong middle class, with the ability for families that work hard to achieve a better future. A state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the best ways Missouri can help all working families – even those in low-paying jobs — have the opportunity to build better lives and economic security. Read on to learn more:

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Raising youth’s VOICE

OACAC’s VOICE project exposes youth to careers

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” For children in low-income families, the answer to this question might be limited. Their personal aspirations might reflect their limited exposure to a variety of vocations and professions. That’s why one of Missouri’s Community Action Agencies, Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, created the VOICE Project: Vocational Opportunities Inspiring Children in Elementary. Research finds that children who complete an elementary-based career awareness program have higher grades, higher academic achievement, and increases career awareness,exploration, and personal/interpersonal skills. Read on for more about OACAC’s innovative project:

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Uniting Missourians to End Poverty

Hundreds gather at the 2016 Missouri Poverty Summit


Nearly 350 Missourians gathered at the Capitol Plaza Hotel last Wednesday, April 27. Uniting them was a common cause: to end poverty in Missouri. Poverty is a multifaceted issue with many causes and conditions unique to different communities. The 2016 #MOPovertySummit focused on community-based solutions to addressing poverty statewide. Become a member of Missourians to End Poverty on the website: Check out some pictures and social media highlights below!

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Q&A with Nonprofit Missouri

Today we have a Q&A with Nonprofit Missouri. MACA is a member of this organization, and we wanted to share about it with you! If you work for a nonprofit, consider getting involved as an individual or as an organization. Read on for highlights about Nonprofit Missouri:

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5 Numbers about Missouri Hunger

Hunger affects hundreds of thousands of Missourians every day. Missouri families in poverty, and even those above the poverty level, struggle to put enough food on the table. Hunger matters because it impacts health, education, and the family and economic security of current and future generations in our state. Check out the infographic below to Missouri hunger by the numbers:

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5 Tips to Boost Productivity:

Our favorite free online resources for nonprofits

Nonprofits have a variety of free resources right at their fingertips. But with so many online applications, you may not know where to start. We’ve curated some of our team’s favorite apps and websites to boost productivity:

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Cafe Via Roma: Dine for Social Good

Why you’ll love Cafe Via Roma

On the corner across from the Missouri State Capitol is Jefferson City’s only social enterprise restaurant: Cafe Via Roma. Known around town for its soups, salads and sandwiches, the Cafe has some unique characteristics that may surprise you. Read on to find out why you’ll love the Cafe:

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Four reasons you should attend the 2016 Missouri Poverty Summit

MACA is a member of Missourians to End Poverty, a nonpartisan coalition of nonprofits, organizations, businesses and community members dedicated to ending poverty. Missourians to End Poverty is hosting the 2016 Missouri Poverty Summit this year on Wednesday, April 27 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. To register for the all-day event, click here

Four reasons you should attend the 2016 Missouri Poverty Summit:

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Advocacy for All

3 simple ways to make a difference today

Sometimes, we have the ability to make a difference but we don’t know where to start. Advocacy is a great place to begin because anyone can be an advocate! The Alliance for Justice defines advocacy as,”any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.”  How do you get started? The following are three simple steps you can take to advocate for your cause:

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Top 4 reasons to follow our new blog

Stay in touch with the Community Action Network

Welcome to the brand new Missouri Association for Community Action blog! We are looking forward to sharing more about our agencies, our people, and our impact with you. Not convinced yet? Read on for the Top 4 Reasons to follow our new blog!

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