November 29, 2017

Health Foundation gives WCAC anti-poverty grant

Courtesy
WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis (second from right) receives a donation from UniBank for a heating assistance program earlier this year.

Thanks to a $62,000 grant, the Worcester Community Action Council hopes to develop a program to address poverty from a community health concern, the council announced Wednesday.

The grant, from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts Activation Fund, will go toward an initiative called BankOn Worcester County to bring together community organizations, local government and financial institutions to fight poverty.

Under the program, those organizations will attempt to remove barriers to banking by developing safe and affordable banking options. Financial education for struggling families in Worcester and Southbridge is to be part of the program.

Planning and partnership for the program is underway and expected to be launched in conjunction with a city-wide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in January.

In a statement, WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis called asset development a key component of the council's mission.

"We recognize the need for additional financial literacy opportunities and look forward to engaging our local financial institutions to assist with these efforts," she said.

Health Foundation CEO Jan Yost said in a statement that the council's allotment was part of the $694,516 awarded by the Health Foundation, the second-largest in a single year.

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