KVCAP Newsletter

Issue: October 2021
Food & Fun for Families
 

More than 300 families took part in KVCAP's first-ever Food & Fun Drive-thru events on October 6th in Skowhegan, Augusta, and Waterville.

The drive-thru was offered in lieu of our annual Community Celebration, which is designed to offer a free, fun, and enriching experience for families and children, while also sharing information about the wide range of services we offer.

“We are pleased that we were able to pivot to a drive-thru event this year, while still maintaining the original intent of our annual Celebration,” said KVCAP’s Chief Executive Officer, Suzanne Walsh. “The health and wellbeing of families and communities is so important to us and at the heart of our mission. The event helped with food insecurity and the need for family togetherness as COVID 19 continues to impact our communities, while also ensuring a safe experience for everyone.”

KVCAP distributed Hannaford gift cards valued at $30 each, along with recipes and information about local resources. Children received a brand new book, thanks to a generous donation from the Waterville Noontime Rotary Club. Children also received an enrichment bag containing 11 different activities that they can do at home with their families, including the supplies to make their own superhero mask.

The Maine Community Foundation provided the funding for this project, as part of their effort to address the challenges that people are experiencing during the pandemic.

September 13, 2021

Senators Collins, King Announce More Than $3.8 Million for Head Start Program in Kennebec Valley

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Kennebec Valley Community Action Program has received $3,860,835 for its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Head Start. Read more.

Vision and hearing screenings help children learn

Children use all of their senses to learn and play and uncorrected vision and/or hearing problems can be a barrier to school readiness.  This makes early identification of potential problems essential. By conducting vision and hearing screenings as soon as a child begins attending one of our programs, we are able to inform parents of potential problems and direct them to their provider for further evaluation and intervention if needed.

This year KVCAP Child & Family Services was able to purchase their own Spot Vision Screener -- an evidence-based screening tool that assesses seven different areas of vision with just one quick picture of the eyes. For children 3-5 years old, we use a Pure Tone Audiometer to assess a child's hearing and identify if they would benefit from further evaluation. On a quarterly basis throughout their first year and yearly thereafter, all children under 3 years old receive separate evidence based screening, assessing their response to various activities involving sound. We want the children in our programs to experience the world to their fullest potential, and assuring they receive the vision and hearing care they need is one way we accomplish this!

Ayla Allen, Health Coordinator, using the Spot Vision Screener with a preschooler.

Ride Free Wednesdays!

Attention Residents of Kennebec and Somerset County: the Kennebec and Somerset Explorer public buses are now offering Ride Free Wednesdays!

Ride existing routes for FREE every Wednesday throughout October. Join us and explore your local area!

Click HERE for routes and schedules or call 859-1500 for more information.

Extra food support!

Do you have a child that attends school in Maine? Fill out a school meal application and you may be eligible for extra money on groceries. Filling out the school meal application also supports Maine teachers by providing important funding for your school!  Click HERE to apply online or contact your local school district.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

KVCAP continues to serve Kennebec and Somerset county residents in need of emergency rental assistance! This recently expanded program helps pay rent and utility costs for eligible Maine renters.

Since the first round of Emergency Rental Assistance began in March of 2020, KVCAP has dispersed more than $15 million dollars in funding to prevent evictions for thousands of households.

You can learn more and apply online HERE.

If you are facing eviction, or fear you might, please contact Pine Tree Legal Assistance or Legal Services for the Elderly. They have funding to help you even if you don’t qualify for this program.

Need help to safely quarantine or get a vaccine?

If you or someone you care about needs help in order to safely quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19, KVCAP is here to help. This REFERRAL FORM will allow you to reach out and make an appointment on your own or another's behalf. In addition, you can also request a mobile vaccination via this tool.

COVID-19 vaccines are new, and it’s normal to for people to have questions about them. Use these 5 tips to help have conversations with friends and family.

6th Annual Diaper Drive...
Stuff the Cruiser events!

It's that time of year again!  KVCAP's Kennebec and Somerset Family Enrichment Councils continue to partner with local law enforcement to host "Stuff the Cruiser" events this October.

In the last 18 months we distributed more than 50,000 diapers to families in need!

"Stuff the Cruiser" event days, times and locations:
  • Waterville Elm Plaza Hannaford, Thursday, October 21, 2-4pm
  • Madison Hannaford, Friday October 22 from 3-6pm
  • Augusta Whitten Road Hannaford, Wednesday October 27, noon-3pm
  • Skowhegan Hannaford, Friday October 29 from 3-6pm
Can't make it to help stuff a cruiser?
We will also continue to accept diaper donations (all brands and sizes) throughout October at our Augusta, Waterville and Skowhegan locations.
For more information, call Kristen at 859-2520 or Becky at 859-1588 or email at or kristenp@kvcap.org or  blambert@kvcap.org.
Why our diaper drive is so important:

  • 1 in 3 families struggle with diaper need.
  • 5.2 million babies and toddlers under the age of 3 live in poor and low-income families.
  • Government safety-net programs do not recognize diapers as a basic need.
  • Diapers cannot be obtained with food stamps, and are classified with cigarettes, alcohol and pet food as disallowed purchases.
  • Diaper need impacts the physical, mental and economic well-being of children and parents.
  • Most child care centers require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers (four to six changes during the day).
  • Many parents cannot go to work or school if they can’t leave their babies at child care.
  • Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, at a cost of $70 to $80 per month per baby.
  • The poorest 20 percent of Americans who buy diapers spend nearly 14 percent of their post tax income on diapers. (source: Center for Economic and Policy Research, November 23, 2015)
Make your HEAP appointment today!

You can now schedule your appointment with KVCAP's Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) for the 2021/2022 heating season.

Our team members are primarily completing applications with clients by phone, but in-person appointments can be arranged if needed.

The HEAP income guidelines have expanded this year, which increases the number of households that will qualify for assistance. To view the updated guidelines or to make an appointment, click HERE or call 859-1500.

Please note: Households that received a HEAP benefit during the 2020/2021 heating season recently received a one-time supplemental payment in the amount of their most recent benefit. Households with a 2021/2022 appointment for HEAP are STRONGLY encouraged to keep that appointment as this additional payment is a one-time supplemental payment and not intended to replace the 2021/2022 benefit.

Whole Family Coaching
Do you have at least one child in the house under the age of 16 and is at least one adult looking to explore employment or education opportunities? Call today to see if you are financially eligible for this free program. If you are receiving TANF, LiHEAP, or have children in Head Start you qualify automatically. For more information click HERE or call Amanda (Kennebec County) at 907-8189 or Michelle (Somerset County) at 858-5507.
Drug Take Back Day

You can help reduce the risk of prescription drug misuse. Bring your unused or expired drugs for safe disposal to one of the locations listed below on Saturday, October 23rd. 

Simplified Tax Filing to Claim Your Child Tax Credit
Almost all families qualify for the Child Tax Credit. Even families who haven’t filed a tax return or don’t have recent income are eligible for the full Child Tax Credit, and anyone who has a child with a Social Security number can get it. 
  • You could get up to $3,600 per child in your household.
  • If your child is under 6 years old,you can get up to $3,600 per child.
  • If your child is between 6 and 17 years old, you can get up to $3,000 per child. This money is not a loan.
  • You can get this credit even if you don’t have recent income and even if you didn't file taxes this year.
Click HERE to learn more and receive your child tax credit.
Employee Spotlight!

Suneva Ware began working at KVCAP one year ago. As a Housing Services Coordinator, Suneva oversees the scheduling and paperwork required for our Home Repair program.

"I love my job because we help people in so many ways, from installing a new roof or updated plumbing, to building wheelchair ramps," said Suneva.

Suneva and her husband of 20 years have a son in college and a daughter in high school. In her free time she loves to do ceramics, complete projects using a knitting loom, and play with her 2 cats and dog. She especially enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

"We have such a great team. Everyone is always so ready to help. We all really support one another," she said.

We're Hiring!

KVCAP has several job openings available. We offer competitive wages and excellent benefits.

As an employee, you will receive bi-weekly accrual of paid time off. You may also be eligible to receive comprehensive, affordable health insurance, dental, vision, disability insurance and an employer sponsored retirement plan. BROWSE our current openings and start on the path to a new future!

Make a difference! Donate to KVCAP today!
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