Community Action Agency of Anderson County programs.

Both emergency services and case management provided by the Anderson County Community Action Agency assist low-income families and individuals. They offer referrals to eviction prevention and LIHEAP for paying utility bills. However, much more is offered to, with the goal of ending the cycle of poverty.

Programs that offer food and financial assistance

Regarding any financial aid, these services include emergency assistance with utilities, such as gas, electricity, water and deliverable fuels, and housing. The demand for these resources is very high, and many people need to be turned away.

The agency also offers a home-weatherization program to help save energy and lower utility bills for individuals that meet low-income guidelines. Some of the improvements done to a home can include, but are not limited to, attic/wall insulation, caulking, refrigerator replacement, venting, weather-stripping, glass replacement, door repair/replacement, and minor roof and foundation repair. These are just some of the weatherization services provided by Community Action Agency.

In addition, minor home repair is available for low-income homeowners 60 years of age and older in Anderson County. In order to apply, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance must be current, and proof of income for all household members will be reviewed. Such repair services are designed to address health and safety issues to help the elderly remain in their homes. If needed, work can be done to make homes handicap accessible, such as ramps or doors.

All home rehabilitation work follows lead-based paint regulations and code compliance set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Anderson County code compliance officers, the community development department and lead examiner perform final inspections on all work to ensure lead clearance. Low-income homeowners and those facing poverty residing in Anderson County are eligible for this program.

Community Action Agency and its partners also provides low cost transportation for individuals over 60 years of age and disabled persons over 18 years of age. This transportation service is offered for necessary excursions, such as employment, interviews, medical appointments and grocery shopping. Vans with and without lifts are available.




Furthermore, the Anderson County Community Action Agency offers a number of food-assistance programs, some which are federally funded. They are often run in partnership with agency on aging centers in Tennessee. The congregate meal program provides senior citizens 60 years of age and older with hot, nutritious meals during the week at dining centers located throughout Anderson County.

These centers also serve as a social hub for senior citizens, and some locations have extended hours and additional activities. Reservations must be made a day in advance. The program is available to any person over 60 years of age, as well as spouses of eligible participants.

There are also meals and food resources for disabled individuals who reside with and accompany eligible participants, and meals may also be for individuals under 60 years of age who reside in senior-living complexes that house congregate dining centers.

The home-delivered meals service, run in partnership with churches and charities, offers homebound senior citizens hot, nutritious meals. According to Community Action Agency of Anderson County, the meals provide one-third of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) nutritional requirements. Modified meals, such as chopped, pureed and liquid nutrition, are also available.

Community Action Agency will process applications for the commodity supplemental food program, or CSFP. This provides pregnant women, infants, children under six years of age who are not receiving WIC assistance and senior citizens over 60 years of age with nutritious food. Any items will be distributed once a month and should provide 12-15 days of complete, balanced meals. The State of Tennessee determines the exact food items distributed through the CSFP program.

There are even more options in Anderson County for those faced with hunger or poverty. Low-income individuals and families can obtain food every three months through the emergency food-assistance program (TEFAP). Some of what is offered includes peanut butter, spaghetti, beans, rice, meat and fruit. The food from TEFAP is distributed at a number of sites throughout a seven-county service area.





Head Start and educational services

The non-profit organization administers a Head Start educational resource for children from low-income families in Anderson County. Eligible children must be either three years of age or four years of age by November 1. Activities designed for cognitive, effective and motor skill development are offered in both large and small group settings.

These activities that are part of Head Start include lessons in general health and nutrition, along with family involvement. The program also provides educational experiences to the student's parents and really entire families to help them raise successful children.

The Early Head Start program is similar. This Anderson County Community Action Agency service provides full-year/full-day childcare for employed low-income families with children up to three years in age. Services are available for expectant mothers as well.

For more information, referrals, or help from any of the aforementioned services, contact Anderson County Community Action Agency . The office is located at 149 N. Main Street, Clinton, TN 37716-3607. The agency can be reached by phone at 866-588-4211.



By Jon McNamara

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