NDCAP Receives $400K in Federal Funding!

North Dakota Community Action Partnership (NDCAP) was recently awarded $400,000 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Training and Technical Assistance Program: Regional Performance and Innovation Consortium.  This is the fourth year NDCAP will service as the lead agency for Region VIII which encompasses Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, and Utah.  The funding will provide support for an ongoing state and regional strategy for collaboration, capacity-building, and exemplary practice in the CSBG program and among State Community Action Associations.

OCS will provided funding to 11 Community Action State Associations to serve as geographic focal points, lead in implementing organizational standards and develop a comprehensive system of T/TA activities among State Associations. The central mission of the RPIC strategy is to ensure that all CSBG-eligible entities are able to meet organizational standards and performance management efforts and utilize evidence-based and evidence-informed approaches to address the identified needs of low-income people in communities.

CSBG provides states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and federal and state-recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, Community Action Agencies (CAA), migrant and seasonal farmworkers or other organizations designated by the states, funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities. The CSBG is a federal block grant program administered by the Office of Community Services (OCS). OCS distributes the CSBG funds to states and local communities, working through a network of over 1,100 entities designated to receive funds, known as CSBG-eligible entities and largely CAAs, for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient. Funds support a range of services and activities to assist the needs of low-income individuals, including the homeless, migrants, and the elderly. CAAs are private nonprofit and public organizations. They are governed by a uniquely structured tripartite board of directors, comprised equally of elected public officials, private sector representatives, and low-income representatives. This structure is designed to promote the participation of the entire community in assessing local needs and eliminating the causes and conditions of poverty. CAAs create, coordinate, and deliver an array of comprehensive programs and services to low-income individuals and families.

North Dakota has seven Community Action Agencies that collectively serve all 53 counties in the state. Community Action Agencies were originally established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty. By combing local, state, private, and federal resources the Community Action Agencies enable low- and moderate-income people of all ages to secure the opportunities they need to obtain and maintain self-sufficiency. Established in 1976, the North Dakota Community Action Partnership is a private, non-profit membership organization representing the seven Community Action Agencies in North Dakota.

Federal Funding Awarded to Statewide Community Action Individual Development Account Program

Federal Funding Awarded to Statewide Community Action Individual Development Account Program

With new federal funding, North Dakota’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program is planning expansion across the state.

 Administered by North Dakota Community Action Partnership (NDCAP), a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families in all 53 counties across the state, the IDA program is a matched savings program that offers an opportunity for low to moderate-income individuals to accumulate lasting assets: college education, a first home, or starting a small business.

On Sept. 29th 2014, Assets for Independence, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded federal funds to the IDA program in the amount of $143,750.  These funds will be matched by North Dakota state dollars appropriated to Community Action. “Each dollar the state has committed will be matched by a federal dollar and together will match the savings of the participant,” said Sarah Hasbargen, NDCAP Statewide Program Coordinator. “The state funds were crucial in leveraging federal funds for our state.”

Although IDAs were piloted in North Dakota in 2002, they are not a new concept in the United States. NDCAP estimates more than 500 IDA initiatives exist in communities across the United States, and at least 10,000 people currently hold an IDA. The federal government supports IDAs through the Assets for Independence Act, passed in 1998. More than 35 states, including North Dakota, have passed IDA legislation.

Ultimately, the IDA enables participants to acquire a lasting asset after saving for an extended period of time.  Participants are required to save for at least six months, although most save money over the course of a few years.  At the end of the program every dollar deposited into the IDA by the participant is matched by a combination of federal and nonfederal funds at a rate of 2:1. In North Dakota participants are able to save up to $2,000 for a match of $4,000. This means if the maximum amount is saved, the participant earns $6,000 to use for purchase of an asset.

“IDAs come with parameters and high expectations of participants,” Hasbargen said. “All participants must have earned income, good credit, and a willingness to follow a slow and realistic savings plan. The IDA is applicable toward one of three approved assets which include college tuition, small business capitalization or first-time home ownership.”

Throughout the savings period participants are also required to make a monthly deposit into their IDA and the contribution must come from money they have earned while working. The IDA is also a custodial account managed by Community Action and the participant does not have access to the funds, Hasbargen said.

Participants are required to complete financial literacy training, which is a critical component as it teaches skills such as: creating and following a budget, owning and managing a bank account or credit card, credit counseling and credit repair, and guidance on refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Additionally, participants are required to attend asset-specific training.  This training is focused on the participant’s asset that they intend to purchase upon the completion of their IDA savings.

“The IDA program has celebrated numerous successes since its inception in 2002,” Hasbargen said. “We are confident this new federal funding will allow many hard working North Dakotans an opportunity to earn lasting assets.”

Contact Sarah Hasbargen at NDCAP at 701-232-2452 or via email:sarahh@sendcaa.org for more information.

Sportsmen Against Hunger Program Can Now Accept Donations of Canada Geese!

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program is proud to announce a new pilot project in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and ND Game and Fish department to accept Canada geese throughout the regular season. Previously, the program was only able to accept snow, blue, and Ross’s geese. This is a huge expansion for the program, and will bring in much more meat to help serve the food pantries in North Dakota.

North Dakota’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program can now accept donations of Canada geese taken during the regular waterfowl hunting season.

Previously, the program could accept snow, blue and Ross’s geese during the regular season, but Canada goose donations were only allowed during the early Canada goose season.

This new opportunity for hunters to donate goose meat is part of a two-year pilot program between the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“In the past couple of years we have heard from many hunters who would like to donate geese taken during the regular season,” said Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand. “We appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service setting up this pilot program so we can see how well it works.”

North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program coordinator Sarah Hasbargen said the additional donations accepted during this pilot project will be a much-needed increase to food pantries across the state. “We will accept as much as hunters are able to donate,” Hasbargen said, while mentioning donated goose meat must be received no later than the day after the close of the season.

Provisions for donating goose meat during the regular season are basically the same as for the early Canada goose season. In addition, hunters can also donate meat from geese that were taken during the early season.

Hunters can bring their geese home and clean them prior to delivering meat to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.

Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor. Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.

The list of participating processors is available on the Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, and at the NDCAP website, www.capnd.org.

Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call the processor before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how processors will accept goose breasts, and their hours of operation.

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.

For more information, visit the NDCAP website, or contact Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.


SAH Accepting Goose Meat!

SAH Accepting Goose Meat

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program is again accepting donations of goose meat taken during the early Canada goose season. Canada geese can be accepted from August 15 through August 31st. Light/snow geese can be accepted throughout the season.

Similar to last year, hunters can bring in their goose meat to participating processors. However, hunters must remove the breast meat from the birds before processors can accept them.

Hunters can clean their geese at home prior to delivery to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.

Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.

Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing plants, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.

The list of participating processors is available on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov.

Hunters interested in donating are encouraged to call processors before dropping off geese, to have a clear understanding of how goose breasts will be accepted and the processor’s hours of operation.

For more information, visit the CAPND website at www.capnd.org, or contact Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.

It’s Small Business Week!

May 12-16 is National Small Business Week. According to the US Census, in 2011 there was an estimated 22,370 non-farm small businesses in North Dakota. This was a 3.8% increase from 2010, compared to a national increase of only 1.3% in from 2010 to 2011. North Dakota small businesses are on the rise and there are many resources in ND to help start a small business.

Interested in starting a small business? The Small Business Administration www.sba.gov is hosting free webinars this week about different tools to start a small business. The North Dakota Small Business Center (www.ndsbdc.org) has resources year round for local assistance and support to start a small business in North Dakota.

According to the Small Business Administration, some questions you should ask yourself before starting a small business are:

  • What kind of business do I want?
  • Who is my ideal customer?
  • What products or services will my business provide?
  • Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?
  • Why am I starting a business?
  • How much money do I need to get started?

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) can help you save money to start a small business. IDAs are savings accounts that are matched 2:1 to be used to pay for college tuition, a first home, or a small business. Participants in the program save a maximum of $2,000, which is matched 2:1, for a total possible $6,000 to be used to help start a small business, including paying for equipment, space, advertising, and other costs associated with starting a business.

Visit www.capnd.org/ida for more information today!

May is Community Action Month!

May is National Community Action Awareness Month, and 2014 is particularly special because it is the 50th Anniversary of the “War on Poverty”. President Lyndon B. Johnson brought up the concept of a “War on Poverty” in his first State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. Below are a few key excerpts from his speech. For the full speech, go to http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/selected-speeches/november-1963-1964/01-08-1964.html

“Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope—some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity.

This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort. It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won. The richest Nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it. One thousand dollars invested in salvaging an unemployable youth today can return $40,000 or more in his lifetime.

Poverty is a national problem, requiring improved national organization and support. But this attack, to be effective, must also be organized at the State and the local level and must be supported and directed by State and local efforts.

For the war against poverty will not be won here in Washington. It must be won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the courthouse to the White House.”

The Johnson Administration sent a draft of the Economic Opportunity Act to Congress on March 16, 1964. President Johnson said: “because it is right, because it is wise, and because, for the first time in our history, it is possible to conquer poverty, I submit, for the consideration of the Congress and the country, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.”

And he discussed the creation of Community Action programs: “…through a new Community Action program we intend to strike at poverty at its source—in the streets of our cities and on the farms of our countryside among the very young and the impoverished old. This program asks men and women throughout the country to prepare long-range plans for the attack on poverty in their own local communities. These are not plans prepared in Washington and imposed upon hundreds of different situations. They are based on the fact that local citizens best understand their own problems, and know best how to deal with those problems.”

Over 1,000 CAAs exist across the nation and there are seven in the state of North Dakota which serve all 53 counties. The cohesive mission is to provide programs and services that empower low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient. Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live.  CAAs care about the entire community and are dedicated to helping people help themselves and help each other. North Dakota Community Action Partnership (NDCAP) was established in 1976 as a vehicle to enhance the capacity and program service delivery of the seven CAAs in North Dakota.

For nearly fifty years, the North Dakota CAAs have been providing programs and services that empower low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient. The CAAs all provide a myriad of programs to uphold their purpose of eradicating poverty. Services include, but are not limited to: Head Start and Childcare, Client Education Programs, Emergency Assistance, Financial and Legal Services, Energy Conservation Programs, Food Programs, Health and Housing Services, Prevention and Self-Sufficiency Program, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Weatherization, and Youth Services.

Please join us in celebrating Community Action Month and the positive impact Community Action Agencies have had in North Dakota!

For more information on Community Action Agencies in North Dakota please visit: www.capnd.org

Put the Earned Income Tax Credit to Work for You

Put the Earned Income Tax Credit to Work for You

You could be eligible to get more money back from the IRS-as much as $6,000.

If you earned less than $51,000 from wages, self-employment or farming last year, you may qualify for a refundable tax credit called the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. But you must file a federal income tax return claiming the credit to get it. It’s even more valuable if your state also offers an EITC tax credit.

EITC can be a boost for working people, their families and communities. The Earned Income Tax Credit has continued to help improve the lives of workers for over 38 years. Yet each year many eligible workers go without claiming the credit, possibly because of changes to their financial, marital and parental statuses. Workers experiencing these changes may qualify for EITC for the first time.

IRS estimates four of five eligible workers claim and get EITC, however rural and non-traditional families — such as grandparents raising grandchildren — childless workers, and non-English speaking taxpayers are among those who most frequently overlook the credit.

Unlike other tax credits, both EITC eligibility and the amount of tax credit you are eligible for is based on several factors. These include, the amount of your income, or combined incomes if married, whether you have qualifying children and how many. Workers without children also may qualify for EITC.

The credit is complex, but worth exploring. You may qualify for EITC even if you had no federal tax withheld and would not otherwise be required to file. However, you must file and claim the credit to get it. The online EITC Assistant at www.irs.gov/eitc can help you determine your eligibility and estimate the amount of your credit you are entitled to claim.

The IRS offers several free options to claim EITC, such as FreeFile and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. FreeFile allows you to prepare and e-file your own tax return. Free help preparing EITC tax returns is also available at many volunteer income tax assistance sites. Locate a volunteer site near you on IRS.GOV and selecting the VITA Locator tool or call the IRS at 1-800-906-9887.

Take the credit you’ve earned. Learn more about EITC. Visit www.irs.gov/eitc, or get details in your tax software package.

 

Sportsman Against Hunger Results in 9,363 pounds of Meat Being Donated!

Since 2004, North Dakota Community Action Partnership has administered the Sportsman Against Hunger (SAH) program throughout the State of North Dakota. Hunters donate legally-obtained deer for donation to food pantries across the state. In 2012, a geese donation program was added, with the assistance of ND Game and Fish and has been very successful. NDCAP partners with processors across the state for meat processing and packaging.

 

2013 Deer Results

Deer were accepted throughout bow and rifle season. Sportsman Against Hunger program received a total of 48 deer this year, for approximately 2,100 pounds of meat donated to food pantries across the state. Unfortunately, this is the lowest number of donations in the history of the program. But this was anticipated due to the declining deer population in North Dakota. The program will continue to accept deer donations in 2014.

  • Interested in finding more information about the ND deer population and what you can do to help? The State Game and Fish Department has scheduled eight public meetings in February to discuss deer management in North Dakota. Department officials will present an overview of the current deer population and prospects for the future, and look for input on possible options for changes in the way deer licenses are allocated. Log onto www.gf.nd.gov for more information and meeting dates and times.

 

Elk Reduction Program Partnership with

Theodore Roosevelt State Park

The Sportsman Against Hunger program had the honor of partnering with the Theodore Roosevelt National Park for elk reduction again this year. Through this partnership the program received 39 elk. The SAH program secured funding through the ND Department of Commerce to have the elk processed into burger. Over 5000 pounds of meat was processed. After processing the meat was distributed to food pantries and charitable feed outlets across the state of ND. This partnership has been in effect since 2011, with a total of  278 elk donated.

 2013 Goose Results

In 2012, SAH started a small pilot program to accept goose, this was well received and 591 geese were donated and distributed. In 2013, this took off and was very popular. Canada geese were accepted in the early fall season, and Snow geese were accepted throughout the winter regular season. An AP news article about the program was published nationwide, and the program was featured on NPR radio, NRA News on the Sportsman Channel, Valley News Live, Bakken Talkin radio show, and more. The donations of geese helped minimize the loss of meat to food pantries because of decreasing deer donations. A total of 1,863 pounds of goose meat were donated to the program in 2013. Goose meat is new to food pantries in this area, but has been accepted with success. Sarah at Community VI Food Pantry reported that 70% of people receiving food baskets took the goose breasts, and were provided with recipes to assist with preparation.

 

Total Donations

The Sportsman Against Hunger program facilitated a grand total of 9,363 pounds of donated game meat being donated to food pantries across the state of North Dakota.

 

Thank You!

Thank you to all of our program partners, especially North Dakota Game and Fish, ND Department of Commerce, and Community Action Agencies across the State of North Dakota. Thank you to all of our partner processors, without them this program would not be possible. And finally, thank you to each and every person who has donated to this program!

Sincerely,

Sarah Hasbargen

sarahh@sendcaa.org

 

 

Josh Duhamel Talks About Our IDA Program!

Mr. Josh Duhamel was gracious enough to endorse our IDA program!

Click on the following link to learn how our program can help students pay for college: http://youtu.be/aQLO3uXKngA

The IDA program (Individual Development Accounts) is a savings program giving people an opportunity to acquire a lasting asset after saving for an extended period of time, college tuition, a first home, or small business capitalization. After six months of saving and completion of financial literacy training, the participant is eligible for a 2:1 match of their savings. Participants are able to save up to $2000, with a match of $4000, meaning if the maximum amount is saved, the participant has earned $6000 for the purchase of the desired asset. For more information, visit our website at www.capnd.org or call Sarah H. at 701-232-2452.

 

Sportsmen Against Hunger!

December is a busy time for North Dakota Community Action Partnership, particularly during hunting season. The program was started in 2004 as a way to get sources of protein into food pantries. Hunters in North Dakota donate legally obtained deer that they don’t intend to keep, and it’s processed and distributed to food pantries across the state.

Unfortunately, due to the declining ND deer populations, our donations of venison have decreased significantly. So, in 2011, a pilot project was developed to start accepting Canada and Snow geese as well as venison. It has been a very successful project , nearly quadrupling in donations in the last two years.

Curious? Try it for yourself! Here is a recipe distributed through food pantries along with the donated geese:

Canadian Goose Stew

 

  •  4 goose breasts
  • 1/3 cup salt
  •  2 tbsp baking soda
  • Water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • hot sauce
  • 48 oz. beef consommé
  • Salt
  • cubed vegetables like carrots, potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, etc.

 

Soak the breasts overnight in 1/3 cup salt, baking soda and enough water to cover.
Remove and pat dry. Cut into 2″ cubes.
In a large pot, saute the onion and celery in butter.
Add the meat, Worcester sauce, a liberal amount of garlic powder and hot sauce to taste.
Cook about 10 minutes over medium high to high heat or until brown.
Add the beef consomme and stir together. Salt to taste. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
Add your veggies and simmer 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir occasionally.