April 8, 2020

Community Action has been here supporting low-income families in southeast Iowa for 54 years. When there is a crisis and nowhere to turn, we will do everything we can to help. During this pandemic, it is no different. We have an amazing staff who serve families and help others in these unprecedented times. We are dedicated to alleviating the conditions and causes of poverty by building partnerships and strengthening people through quality services.

Our five neighborhood centers in our four county area continue to assist people daily with emergency services. While disconnects and evictions have been temporarily stopped, bills are still racking up.

Applications for energy assistance, emergency rent, or water assistance can be taken over the phone. Call your local center to talk about your options and apply. Due to the pandemic, the date for applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been extended to May 31, 2020.

Those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are encouraged to apply for housing assistance by calling their local center.

Food pantries are accepting monetary donations.  People in need of food should call and set up an appointment to pick up a food box.  Depending on the circumstances, delivery may be available.

  • Des Moines County Neighborhood Center, Burlington, Iowa, 319-753-2839
  • Eichacker Center, Fort Madison, Iowa, 319-372-4471
  • Tolson Center, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 319-385-2310
  • Marie Tallarico Center, Keokuk, Iowa, 319-524-6383
  • Louisa County Center, Columbus Junction, 319-728-2314

WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) continues to provide crucial nutrition assistance to pregnant women and children under five. Nurses and nutritionists are working by phone to enroll new clients, provide nutritional education, and apply benefits to client’s electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. They are able to do all of this by phone. You can contact WIC at 319-209-2850.

Our Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms are closed, but our teachers and specialists are working and reaching out to families. They provide short daily activities or videos to connect with their students and provide some continuity in their lives. Specialists reach out to families weekly to check on their needs and how the family is doing. Cooks and staff continue to make meals daily to hand out to families and are even doing some deliveries. Children are a very vulnerable population and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to provide support in these challenging times no matter how long they last.

Throughout the area, we have home based support services such as Parents as Teachers (PAT) and Family Development and Self-Suffiency (FaDSS) program. Our specialists continue to work with families on their goals through remote connections. They can enroll families in services by phone. This provides support for families to help them work on goals, and reach out for needed resources and support.

Our Weatherization crews are currently not allowed to work on people’s homes. They look forward to getting back to working on homes and making them energy efficient and lower their utility bills.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides assistance and reimbursements to qualified childcare providers remotely. There has been federal and state guidance on regulation changes due to the pandemic. Our staff continue to advocate for what will best benefit those in need.

Updates, announcements, and resources can be found on our website: http://caofseia.org/resources/covid-19-updates-resources-and-information/

We’re in this together, no matter how long it lasts.

Sheri Wilson, Executive Director

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