The Foundations of a Healthy Community

August 27, 2019

As the Community Action Agency of Butte County, you may not be surprised to hear that we think investing in your community is important, but why? Because healthier communities make healthier, happier people. Engaged and supportive communities create more opportunities, provide safer neighborhoods, and ultimately produce healthier and longer living residents.

Some major factors for healthy communities are affordable housing, education, economic opportunity, available healthcare and general safety. When communities work to incorporate and improve all these components, they start to thrive. Habitat for Humanity helps families build or improve their homes. They have long been a champion for safe and affordable housing, believing that it's a key element to stable communities. We couldn't agree more and that's why we focus so much of our effort on programs like our Esplanade House, Weatherization and Utility Assistance. Providing homes for people who don't have them, or just making someone's existing home safer and more affordable can make a huge difference in their life.

Housing alone is not the whole picture however. Even communities that provide all the amenities and opportunities mentioned above still require some less tangible things to truly thrive. You need buy-in from the community. Not just financially but emotionally. Communities thrive on contentedness. Habitat for Humanity defines three foundational outcomes that are required in a community to create change.

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Voting is Open for Best of Chico 2019

August 15, 2019

We are excited for the Best of Chico voting that is already underway in our community. It's a great opportunity to show some love for your local favorites. We were fortunate to get 2nd place in the Charitable Cause category last year thanks to votes from supporters like you! If you haven't had time to go online and vote, we encourage you to get involved and cast your vote to support local businesses and organizations. THE VOTING PERIOD ENDS SEPTEMBER 11, 2019, 11:59 PM

The Community Action Agency of Butte County can be nominated in two different categories this year: Best Charitable Cause and Best Youth organization. Both of these categories are in the "Community" section.  Head over to Chicobestof.com to cast your vote!

Why vote for Community Action Agency of Butte County?

  • In 2018 our Esplanade House provided a home for 95 adults and 126 children
  • Our North State Food Bank distributed 1,394,593 pounds of food in 2018
  • In 2018 our Environmental and Energy Services program provided energy retrofit upgrades to 1,158 homes and installed solar arrays on the homes of 12 low-income households
  • Our Utility Assistance program helped provide a combined $1,279,014 to 2,582 households in 2018
  • In the 2018 tax filing season alone, our VITA program served 1,207 families to help get a combined $1,031,919 in refunds.
  • We helped to secure temporary and long-term housing for Camp Fire survivors as well as over 100,000 pounds of food. 

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Help Protect Energy Assistance for Low Income Families

August 05, 2019
During the most extreme weather periods, energy is a life-critical resource. Unfortunately, many California families continue to struggle with energy affordability, in some cases putting their lives at risk or forcing people to make choices between things like medicine or food or paying their utility bills.
 
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides help to vulnerable California residents by assisting with energy costs for those most vulnerable in our community.
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Community Needs Assessment Public Forum - June 19th

June 14, 2019

The Community Action Agency of Butte County, Inc. (CAABCI) invites you to review and comment on our 2020-2021 Community Action Plan (CAP).

" This CAP serves as a 2-year road-map demonstrating how CAABCI plans to deliver services to address the most pervasive needs identified by the community." 

This document identifies and assesses poverty related needs and resources in the community and establishes plans, goals and priorities for delivering those services to individuals and families most affected by poverty in Butte and surrounding areas.

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Who is the CAA of Butte County? Listen to our Interview on Chico Now Radio!

May 06, 2019

Local KKXX radio show Chico Now, recently had our very own Tom Tenorio, CEO, on as a guest. Vince Haynie was the gracious host of the show and we appreciate his interest in what we are doing here in the community. He was interested to learn more about our Esplanade House and other CAA programs.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here, or read the transcript of the interview below.

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Food Insecurity Negatively Impacts Child Development

April 15, 2019

Evidence shows that families who experience food insecurity, pass down that psychological stress to their children.  When parents are unable to feed their children, it leads to depression, aggravation, and anxiety.  When parents are in this constant state, that psychological trauma gets passed down to their children; which can have a severe negative impact on child development and their over all well being.

According to the Center for Poverty Research at UC, Davis:

"Such circumstances have a direct negative impact on children’s behavioral development.[4] For example, heightened parental depression and anxiety prompted by food insecurity has been linked to aggressiveness, anxiety and hyperactivity in three-year-olds."

Considering that 40% of Americans are at risk of poverty, that is an overwhelming amount of our children put at unnecessary risk. In a recent article by Kevin Gee, an Associate Professor of Education at UC Davis and Minahil Asim,  a PhD candidate in education policy at UC Davis, they highlight the detrimental impacts of parenting aggravation and how food insecurity negatively affects children's executive functioning by reducing their ability to pay attention and compromising their self- control. We have selected highlights from the article below, you can read the full article by clicking here.

 

Posted by: The Center for Poverty Research, UC Davis

Key Facts

  • Parents struggling with food insecurity can experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Parenting aggravation that coincides with food insecurity is negatively associated with children’s executive functioning.
  • Supporting food-insecure parents may improve parenting and thus have benefits both for parents and their children
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Eligible Families Can Receive Up To $225 In Matched Funds for Kids College Savings

April 05, 2019

Our office recently received a letter from California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, notifying us about an opportunity for income qualifying families to help get a jump start on their children's college savings accounts. The cost of higher education continues to rise and we recognize this represents a major hurdle for many families.

We are in full support of helping low to moderate income households create opportunities for their children. Although a degree is no guarantee of financial success in life, it's a good start. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics in a 2017 study, the median weekly income for some one with only a high school diploma was $712, while the median weekly income for those with a bachelor's degree was $1,173. That's almost a 65% increase in weekly income!

Starting a college savings account for your kids is also a good step towards avoiding excessive student loan debt in their future. Too many college graduates are coming out of school with mountains of debt which is outpacing growth in wages. While Butte CAA is not officially affiliated with ScholarShare 529, we feel that this state sponsored program aligns with our continued mission to help people and change lives. You can read more about the program below, or on their website at ScholarShare529.com/mgp.

 

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Local Radio Show Highlights CAA's Free Tax Prep Program

March 22, 2019

Local radio show Chico NOW! hosted our very own Stephanie Powell and Tim Hawkins to discuss the VITA program. Every tax season Butte CAA collaborates with the Chico State Business Dept. to help households that make less than $54,000 a year file their taxes for free! This not only helps local residents get their hard-earned money back, but it also has a benefit to the local economy when that money is spent at local businesses. Let's see what Stephanie and Tim have to say about it...

Click Here to Listen

 

What Does VITA Stand For?

VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. This program exists as an ongoing partnership between us, The Butte CAA, and Chico State's College of Business Accounting Department. We help file returns to those persons who make under $54,000 a year. We've operated this program since 2008 in the community and we partner with Chico State's accounting department to provide qualified student volunteers to help complete your tax returns for free.

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40% of Americans at Risk of Poverty

February 18, 2019

According to Prosperity Now "40% of American households lack a basic level of savings" and could not afford "to live at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted." That's a staggering number of families at risk.

In a recent article by Wes Moore, of the NYC nonprofit Robin Hood, he highlights the dilemma that many of us in community action have been addressing for some time; that millions of families and children are at high risk of an unexpected expense, a layoff, a medical emergency or a missed paycheck pushing them into the ranks of poverty. Solutions require partners and commitment to change. We have selected highlights form the article below, you can read the full article by clicking here.

According to comprehensive new data from the Prosperity Now Scorecard, a staggering 40 percent of American households live one missed paycheck away from poverty. That population of proud, hardworking Americans who we used to call the great American middle class are one unexpected expense, one layoff, one medical emergency, one missed paycheck, one government shutdown away from poverty.

For generations, poverty in American has been a persistent plague on our society. What the data and the realities in communities are showing us now is that we're on the verge of it becoming a permanent inescapable reality.

 

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The North State Food Bank - Ongoing Support for Camp Fire Relief

February 13, 2019

Since the tragedy of the Camp Fire rocked Butte County and surrounding areas, our North State Food Bank has been in full swing, getting food to people in need. This is not a short-term relief effort by an means. With people displaced from their homes and no certain timeline for returning, the need for support for the North State Food Bank remains high.

 

What Have We Accomplished So Far?

Thanks to the generosity of this community as well as outside donors, our North State Food Bank has distributed 93,000 pounds of food for Camp Fire relief efforts in collaboration with Grassroots Alliance. Community support continues to come in, recently the North State Food Bank received a generous donation from Golden State Farm Credit and several sister Farm Credit agencies from California and other states in the amount of $51,500 for Camp Fire relief. What an amazing gift! In response to this generous donation our CEO, Tom Tenorio had this to say.

We're thankful for the support of our local agriculture and ranching communities whose continued collaboration with our CAA North State Food Bank ensures that our community members have access to healthy, nutritious food.

-Tom Tenorio, CEO of Butte CAA

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