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LOOKING AHEAD MAY Community Action Month MAY 8 Teacher Appreciation Day JUNE 21 Dump the Pump 278,783 pounds of food rescued by the Southeast Ohio Foodbank 181 Electric Energy Partnership Audits in the first quarter 3,034 Households Served by Winter Crisis from Nov-Mar.


Ensuring the nutritional value of these meals is

LOGAN - Our Meals on Wheels fundraiser took place

“I never was a vegetable eater, but this program has

during the month of March…but did you know that

really helped me. And to me, as a senior, there are a

March is also National Nutrition Month?

lot of spinoff benefits,” says Jack.

important for each senior in the program. Jack is a Meals on Wheels senior in Athens County who has been in the program for two years.


is continuing efforts to provide nutritious meals to

Jack says his drivers are always polite, cheerful, and

senior citizens through the Meals on Wheels program.

helpful. They bring in his mail during bad weather,

The Southeast Ohio Foodbank & Regional Kitchen

and they can even help with opening tricky containers

has been running the Meals on Wheels program in

like milk and juice cartons.

Hocking and Athens counties since 2004.


He also speaks highly of the meals that help keep

are covered 3 days a week, where drivers deliver

him healthy, especially in keeping his sugar and


cholesterol levels low.






Food Services Coordinator Sam Gress credits the Regional Kitchen’s standards for making sure every senior’s nutritional needs are met. After Sam develops each menu, a Registered Dietician approves the meal plans and reviews the sodium & sugar contents. Each meal offers low sodium alternatives and is always sugar free. The Kitchen uses frozen foods over canned, prepares lean meats, and oven bakes instead of frying. Religious practices and allergies are accommodated, with gluten and dairy free options available. In addition to the nutritional content, the Regional Kitchen also takes other health needs into consideration. Virgil, a Meals on Wheels senior in Athens County, must eat at specific times during the day due to medical needs. The Kitchen has worked closely with its Meals on Wheels drivers to ensure his meals can be delivered on time. Food & Nutrition staff views each program participant as a neighbor and friend, and carefully coordinates its meal preparation and delivery by taking into account the individual needs of each senior. Jack made his living teaching and coaching, including over 25 years spent in the Nelsonville schools, and he recognizes the teamwork of the Kitchen and its staff. “I do think Meals on Wheels is a team effort by some very hardworking people. It’s not an easy or thanking job. In coaching, I worked on the team concept. I see that Meals on Wheels works towards a common goal to feed and take care of people.”

NEW EMPLOYEES FOOD & NUTRITION We’d like to welcome Warren Jones, Deven Berry, and Ben Isham to the F&N Division and congratulate John Stalling on his promotion and obtaining his CDL Class “A” License! FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION The accounting department hired a new Senior accounting clerk Lisa Johnson on March 19, 2018. Annastashia Zamarron was promoted to staff accountant in January. HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Nathan Simons has accepted the Community Development Coordinator position and we also welcome Sean Brooks as the new Community Development Manager! TRANSPORTATION Join us in welcoming Rodney King, the newest driver to join the AODT team! He’s a retired teacher who taught in Morgan County and at Trimble schools. We’d also like to welcome two new APT drivers, Jon Shaw and Misty Billman!


CHILD DEVELOPMENT UPDATES The Head Start Program just finished up their Federal Review and CLASS observations. We will not have the results for a while but we feel confident that things went well. A big Thank You to the Center Coordinators and all of our staff, parents, Board members and PPC for doing such a wonderful job representing our program. We are always searching for qualified staff to fill our positions in Child Development. We will be advertising soon for all of the openings we will have. If you know of a person who meets our qualifications for numerous positions available, please have them submit a resume. We will be hiring in May and June for positions to begin in August. It has also been difficult to maintain full enrollment of children and families. Please help us out by spreading the word that if you know of children or families who need our services please have them give us a call or stop in one of our locations.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES This has been a very busy year but it is hard to believe it is almost over for another year. Head Start will be ending in May but Early Head Start remains open all year. Good news is that we will be holding a summer camp again this year. This program will begin June 4, 2018 and run for 4 weeks. This enrichment program offers fun, learning opportunities with lots of interesting field trips and activities that most of these children may never have the chance to participate.

- Debbie Lowery WHAT’S HAPPENING | PAGE 3

HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT HOUSING - The first three months of 2018 have been hard on the guys. The rain and the snow conditions have not been favorable for weatherizing houses and putting roofs on. Despite all of the cold, wind, snow and rain we have got some work done in the Housing and CD Division. We had 9 Home Repair and 3 Owner Rehabilitation jobs in the Athens County Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP). Currently we are working on the grant applications for the two Partnerships for Perry County and Athens County. The Athens County Partnership comprises of Athens County, City of Athens, and the City of Nelsonville. The Perry County Partnership comprises of Perry County, Hocking County, and the City of Logan. These applications are due on May 4th and our division is working hard to get these applications completed. One good thing that Glen learned at a Community Development training was that HOME money and CDBG money received a 45% increase and 10% which are the two major funders of CHIP. Ohio Housing Trust Fund is the third funding source. We will not find out until late fall if these are funded so fingers crossed.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - We are extremely busy developing and planning grant applications in Athens County for the CDBG Allocation, Neighborhood Revitalization and Critical Infrastructure programs. This funding has transitioned to a biannual allocation award cycle; therefore Athens County will be applying this June whereas Hocking and Perry Counties will be permitted to apply again in June of 2019. Targeted comprehensive Community Development projects are being planned in Nelsonville, Chauncey, and Glouster. Funding decisions for these applications will be made in the late summer.

- Jeremy Boggs WHAT’S HAPPENING | PAGE 4

OHIO’S 2017 STATE OF POVERTY REPORT On Thursday, April 12, the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA) released its 2017 State of Poverty Report. In our work, we often see and follow the Federal Poverty Guidelines, which have been in place since the 1960s. OACAA wants to redefine what it means to live in poverty and what it takes to break the cycle. This report stresses the “Self-Sufficiency Standard,” which is the amount of income it takes to meet complete self-reliance without any public or private assistance. For example, the current federal poverty level for a family of four (two parents and two school-age children) is $24,339. However, according to OACAA’s online calculator, this family needs a yearly income of $45,210 in Athens County to be completely self sufficient. That includes covering the costs of housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, and taxes without any assistance. The “Self Sufficiency Standard” is a dramatic shift in the paradigm. This report shows that it’s not enough for that family of four to break $25,000 a year to break the cycle of poverty. It takes programs like Community Action to wrap around these families and their communities to help bridge the gap with services like food and nutrition, utility assistance, transportation, housing, community development, job training, and early childhood education. Ohio is juggling many moving parts when it comes to determining the financial burdens of our families. This particular report focuses on Medicaid expansion, childcare costs, and the opioid crisis. Ohio saw a 33% increase of overdose deaths between 2015-2016. By 2020, it’s estimated that 20,000 children will be in Ohio’s Foster Care system. You know the families in your classrooms, your vans, your distributions, your offices, and your work sites. And we know that numbers are only the tip of the iceberg. But by taking a look at this report, you’ll have the statistical sense of where Ohio’s Community Action Agencies stand in their communities, as well as the importance of our work. You can read the report here.





11,614,373 Total Population 14.5% Overall Poverty Rate 20.5% Children in Poverty 8.1% Senior Citizens (65+) in Poverty 28,340 Total Population 14.5% Overall Poverty Rate 22.4% Children in Poverty 8.7% Senior Citizens (65+) in Poverty

66,186 Total Population 28.8% Overall Poverty Rate 24.5% Children in Poverty 12.1% Senior Citizens (65+) in Poverty 35,927 Total Population 17.0% Overall Poverty Rate 23.9% Children in Poverty 11. 7% Senior Citizens (65+) in Poverty WHAT’S HAPPENING | PAGE 5


UTILITY SERVICES –Home Energy Assistance Program: Our Winter Crisis Program ended March 31st. This year, we served 3,034 households in Hocking, Athens, and Perry counties that were facing an emergency situation. We are also continuing to make appointments for the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) and State HEAP programs. Our current scheduling system (IVR through Stauffer Technologies) is past the end of its useful life and we are working to procure a new provider that will be more customer friendly. Finally, we are also working collaboratively with the state to continue to process State HEAP applications at the local level. A HUGE Thank You to all of our staff who made this year’s WCP a success: Robin Hampton, Erin Perry, Tanaya Smathers, Angie Thomas, Maria Isham, Floralu King, Angel Schrader, Leah Whitmore, Melissa Legg, Barbara Dennis, Brandi Moore, Jordan Russell, and Ariz Harmon!!! And finally, our 2018 PIPP Plus Grant Application in the amount of $34,732 has been approved. EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS – While the state is not allocating funds specifically for a Summer Youth Employment Program, each of our 3 county CCMEP programs will be offering some level of subsidized summer employment for CCMEP participants. There will be some outreach in Perry County to enroll new youth into the program, but for Athens and Hocking Counties, we will only be serving current CCMEP participants. In terms of scale, we plan to serve about 80 youth in Perry County, 40 in Athens, and 10 in Hocking. The program will run for 8 weeks (June 4-July 27) and youth will be paid $9.00/hour while gaining valuable work experience. Perry County After School and Summer Camp Programs: We have issued Intent to Award letters to two providers for Perry Summer Camp Programming: Stuart’s Opera House and Sunday Creek YouthShops! Both of these camps will offer free programming to TANF-eligible Perry County Youth along with our Head Start Summer Camp in Perry County. CSBG 2018-2019: Our 2018-2019 CSBG Grant Application has been approved by the state. Once we submit our final report for the 2016-2017 grant year, we will need to do a revision for our 2018-2019 Grant to include our carryover funding.



The 2018 March for Meals was a great success this year! We’d like to extend a huge “Thank You” to all the donors, sponsors, and volunteers who made this possible, as well as the staff that participated in the fundraisers at West End Cider House and Hocking Hills Winery. We raised over $4,000 for our Meals on Wheels program!

FOODBANK UPDATES The Foodbank had its annual AIB Food Safety Audit at the end of January and received a “Superior” rating for the third year in a row. This is a direct reflection on staff’s commitment to food safety and cleanliness. Through Feeding America’s Walmart Retail Performance program, the Foodbank received a $20,000 grant as a result of exceeding a set performance goal last quarter. The program encourages Foodbanks to focus on building partnerships with local retail stores and increase pounds of food rescued. We’d like to welcome TLC Ministries to the Southeast Ohio Foodbank Network! This agency will serve the Jackson County Region. We’ve recently started working with CCMEP to provide hands-on, job training to local young adults enrolled in the program. By building off existing skill sets, we’re able to fill volunteer gaps at the Foodbank while helping individuals hone the professional skills that’ll help them secure full-time employment!

KITCHEN UPDATES The Kitchen secured an ongoing rental contract with Rural Action for summer months. Rural Action will be processing local tomato sauce to be sold to school districts in the area. Thanks to a grant from Meals on Wheels America, we have started distributing flea and tick medication to Meals on Wheels seniors with pets in the home. Additionally, thanks to a generous donation of pet food from PetSmart, we have increased the pounds of pet food we distribute based on actual weight of dog. Through a Rocky Community Improvement Fund grant, our drivers have transitioned to using electronic tablets to collect client signatures on routes, reducing paperwork and time. The Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen is gearing up for Summer Feeding. If you know of a local site that may be interested in offering free meals to kids, please contact Sam Gress at 740-385-6813 ext. 2222.



Athens Mobility Manager, Jessie Schmitzer, attended the National Shared Mobility Summit in Chicago, Illinois. While there she was able to discuss transportation issues with people from around the Country and also learn about new cutting edge technology in the transportation world. Closer to home the program has been able to conduct transit trainings, apply for future AMM program funding for 2019, and hold the bi-monthly Athens County Transportation meeting. GoBus has partnered with Community Action Committee (CAC) of Pike County to implement a new stop at the former Ohio Candle Company building located in Piketon. In Marietta at the GoBus stop on Marietta Main Street, a new 6-foot by 12-foot barrel roof shelter will be installed to keep riders dry and warm as they wait for the bus. GoBus was able to provide the funding for both the concrete and structure at no cost to the city. Athens Public Transit In late February, with the threat of widespread flooding in the area the Transportation Division Director, Jessica Stroh, and the Athens City Mayor Steve Patterson declared an APT fare-free day to ensure that all community members had an opportunity to gather supplies or relocate, regardless of their current transportation situation. Athens On Demand Transit started off 2018 hitting the ground rolling and hasn’t stopped since! Our ridership experienced a 19% increase when compared with last year’s first quarter. In between serving Athens County community members the AODT manager, Jody Hart, participated in the 2018 Athens County Disabilities Awareness Festival. Jody had AODT applications and a ‘how-to’ poster board that showed attendees how to utilize this service! Logan Public Transit With serious flooding occurring the beginning of April the area of Rockbridge had to be mandatorily evacuated. The Hocking County Fire Chief requested transportation be sent to help community members get to safer ground. Logan Public Transit went into action and sent driver Ed Swart to help transport people to the Marion Township Community Center. In all LPT was able to provide emergency assistance to seven individuals and four dogs. LPT is now able to provide Title III rides to community members age 60+! Title III is funding dedicated to keeping seniors in their homes longer and leading independent lives through our partner and local Regional Planning Organization, Buckeye Hills.

- Jessie Schmitzer



GLOUSTER – With spring in full bloom, our Child Development Division is now recruiting new families for our early childhood education programs. Families new to our agency might have a lot of questions on this next step in their child’s life, but Debbie Lowery is here to answer their questions with her knowledge and kindness. Debbie has been working for HAPCAP for 43 years. She was born and raised in the Athens area, and spent summers working at a day care center in Chauncey. “I always babysat, and I’ve always loved kids,” she says. Her love of children took her from the infant room in Chauncey to the preschool room at The Plains, where she was then promoted to Center Coordinator. As the years went on, she became the Parent Involvement Coordinator (now known as the Family Partnership Coordinator). Now, she serves as the Personnel and Operations Coordinator for the Child Development Division, overseeing the staff and day-to-day operations of our 6 Head Start centers. A typical day for Debbie usually involves trouble shooting, whether it’s addressing concerns from parents or answering phone calls coming in from of our centers. Her most frequently asked question from parents is how to apply for the program, and the form is available to fill out on HAPCAP’s web site. Throughout the summer, parents throughout all three of our counties will be filling out that form to send their children to preschool in the fall. “We’ve started with recruiting for enrollment already,” she says. “But our parents can really help when it comes to recruitment and telling their family members. Many kids in the same center can often be related!” That element of family is what Debbie loves the most about her work in Child Development. “Community Action is family,” she says. “Everyone comes together for the same reason.” Throughout her 43 years at HAPCAP, Debbie has seen countless transformations in the families she has served. From providing children with health screenings and services to encouraging parent and family involvement, she is over 4 decades strong in giving Southeast Ohio’s families a head start on their futures. Debbie can be reached by phone at (740) 767-4500 or WHAT’S HAPPENING | PAGE 9

“In coaching, I worked on the team concept. I see that Meals on Wheels works towards a common goal to feed and take care of people.”

Eager for Easter Eggs! It was a chilly day but our students at New Lexington Head Start still had fun with their parents.

Ohio University Students interview Mary Dailey for a series of videos about our GoBus and Athens Public Transit Programs. We can’t wait to see our staff on the big screen!

GET INVOLVED For more information on giving or volunteering opportunities, visit our Web site at We also encourage you to follow us on our social media accounts:

Hocking Athens Perry Community Action @HAPCAP @hapcap.seo

HOCKING ATHENS PERRY COMMUNITY ACTION | 3 Cardaras Drive | Glouster OH 45732 | (740) 767-4500

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What's Hap-pening! April 2018  

What's Hap-pening! April 2018