Your stories deserve the spotlight!
Your stories deserve the spotlight!
Agency spotlights
April 2021 Newsletter
Success Stories That Shine
Client Success Story

             Of Lancaster County

A Mother Overcomes Social Isolation During Covid-19

Spotlight On Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County (CAPLanc)

How the Parents As Teachers program is helping a mother find needed personal time and employment.

Francheska Santiago set new goals for herself around self-care and bolstering her parenting skills after she discussed the fragile well-being of her famiy during COVID-19 with CAPLanc's Parents As Teachers program.  She came to the conclusion that her own well-being impacts her capacity as a parent.

With CAPLanc's support, Francheska was able to mobilize her family supports, which included her children getting weekly “Evenings with Daddy” and daytime breaks with the children's grandmother.  Even though she could step out of the house for some time to herself, she experienced a growing feeling of unhappiness, stemming from the fact that she didn’t have a job.  She was ready to invest in herself and help contribute financially to the famiy.
CAPLanc's Family Development Specialist, Sarah LeTourneau, explains, "We coached her to refect on her interests and skills during our visits, during which Francheska proved to have strong skills in Spanish-English language translation.  She was already providing this service to her local Church, and Francheska enjoyed the idea of finding paid work that would help her connect with more people in the day, even if it had to be virtually with Covid restrictions."

CAPLanc identified Church World Service’s Language Beyond Borders program as a potential job opportunity for Francheska and connected her to the Director. Francheska announced that same week that she had successfully created a resume and submitted an application for a position as a translator and is awaiting response from the agency.

Francheska shares, “I’m so excited! It never occurred to me that my love for communicating and connecting could be an important skill.  It concerns me when I see my Spanish speaking neighbors not understanding important things such as lease agreements, policies and paperwork regarding benefits, due to the language barrier. I know this is a critical issue for my community.”

Sarah hopes that obtaining a job in this area of interest will hopefully be an 
empowering experience for Francheska that boosts her personal sense of
well-being, which will have a ripple effect on her parenting. This will also
positively impact her family financially, while also providing an important
service to Francheska’s local community in a very direct way.

Francheska is a testimory to how discouraged parents can benefit from support during this pandemic, by reaching out and partnering with a local Community Action Agency.  We look forward to providing an update on her journey toward self-sufficiency in a future issue, and we encourage other parents reach out to Community Action for help by finding an Agency here.

 Food Deserts

19 Million Americans Live In Them

With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger.  Read the full NPR Article titled "Food By The Numbers" for a look at hunger on a national scale. 

Pennsylvania By The Numbers
  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.53 million Pennsylvanians experienced chronic hunger every day.
  • This includes 478,500 older Pennsylvanians and about 437,000 children. 

  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of every five Pennsylvania workers has now filed for assistance, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor
Community Action Agencies across PA have responded to the problem by establishing food drive-thrus, centers, markets and pantries and remain critical to feeding the food insecure people living in PA.
Agency Success Story

Allison Hill:  

A Pennsylvania Food Desert

Spotlight On Tri County Community Action (TCCA)
Of Cumberland, Daughin & Perry Counties

Local research launched a new model to serve food deserts- It's called The Allison Hill Farmers Market.

In mid 2020, the idea for a market was founded on the need to create more opportunities for food access, and to encourage entrepreneurship among local, urban growers in the community.  After some research planning, the result was the "Allison Hill Farmers Market" with a mission to improve local food security, enhance individual health, and to build entrepreneurship among local farmers and residents -  all while enriching community life in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg. 
Tri County Community Action has been helping people and changing lives throughout Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties since 1966. As a private, nonprofit, social service agency they create and connect resources for individuals and families to move from poverty and crisis situations, to self-sufficiency.  The farmers market is just one of the innovative approaches that TCCA is using to solve today's multi-faceted challenges for residents living in food deserts.

Allison Hill Is A Food Desert...

which means residents have limited access to affordable and nutritious food, especially those on a fixed income. Not having access to nutritious food can impact our long-term health.  This is why TCCA is so excited to bring back the Allison Hill Farmers Market again for the 2021 season.  Beginning in June, the market will continue to connect neighbors to urban growers and farmers.
While the market provides everyone in the community the opportunity to access fresh, affordable, and locally grown food, we hope you become inspired by what else the Allison Hill community can expect to do there:

  • Watch a cooking demonstration 
  • Discover a new healthy recipe
  • Get a free health screening
  • Sample a new fruit or vegetable
  • Listen to talented musicians
  • Learn about smart gardening practices
  • Connect with your community
Businesses are encouraged to get involved in the market as vendors, providing additiional opportunities for self-sufficiency among business owners.
"We know access to fresh, nutritious produce has lasting effects on our individual health and wellbeing,” said TCCA Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Julie Walter. “We also know how much harder it is for low-income families to obtain this need. That’s why we encourage vendors to participate in FMNP, and have even launched a SNAP Market Match. ”
With the SNAP Market Match, families who spend $10 of their EBT credit will receive an additional $10 in Market tokens to use for eligible produce. The combination of FMNP, SNAP, and the SNAP Market Match can make a huge impact on a family's budget and overall health, all while supporting local growers and vendors.  Learn more about the SNAP Market Match.  

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We would love to honor your agency's successes, partner- ships, clients and accomplishments in our monthly newsletter. Your stories will also be highlighted on the CAAP website and in social media posts that help celebrate your successes, praise your partnerships, and educate the public on how individuals and families benefit from Community Action.  
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