Meals and More Grant Application

The Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative is launching a fourth round of grants for the Meals and More initiative.  Emergency meal providers will receive $6,000 in incentive funds between June 2017 and June 2018 to support the expansion of their weekly meal service.  In addition, providers will receive $2,500 worth of food from Philabundance over the year.  Each new meal time will aim to serve 100 people per week.  The Meals and More initiative is intended to reduce the gap in available meals versus need in Philadelphia, to improve the physical health of emergency meal guests, and to better address guests’ holistic needs by creating a pathway to greater personal autonomy.

View the full application here.

CEO is hiring a Contracts Unit Manager

The Contracts Unit Manager is a key staff position to ensure that programs and contractors of the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) provide quality services in accordance with contracts, current laws, rules, policies and procedures. A central component of the contracting team, this position reports directly to the Director of Administrative Services with support from the Director of Planning & Performance Management, and the Data Manager. Key responsibilities include: supervising contracts staff; monitoring program and contractor performance; providing guidance and technical assistance; verifying delivery of services; and ensuring funding is used only for authorized purposes.

Click here for more details.

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to

Increasing Participation in the Earned Income Tax Credit

The first Roundtable of the New Year highlighted the Earned Income Tax Credit, the most important federal income transfer program for low-income workers. Our featured speakers described how the Tax Credit works, who is eligible and how participation in this program could be improved. With Tax Day (April 18th this year!) right around the corner, the presentations were timely and each spoke to a slightly different aspect of the program:

John Wancheck, the Senior Advisor on EITC Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, outlined the eligibility requirements for EITC, and noted that currently only about 82% of eligible families in Pennsylvania actually claim the tax credit, leaving thousands of dollars on the table. Mr. Wancheck recommended that outreach should be proactive and targeted towards those who are newly eligible, especially workers just entering the labor force, new parents and caregivers, divorced parents, and those who recently experienced a reduction in income. Mr. Wancheck cleared the common misconception that EITC refunds are counted as income. As EITC refunds are not income, the EITC will not change someone’s ability to receive income-based benefits.

 Alan Butkovitz, the Philadelphia City Controller, focused on how the EITC could be one tool to alleviate financial hardships for seniors. Senior citizens are living longer, the cost of living is increasing, and many elders rely on fixed-income programs, leaving less money to sustain them in later years. Mr. Butkovitz’s presentation touched on the overall state of retirement security in Philadelphia and potential avenues for Philadelphians to access retirement plans through city-sponsored plans and the U.S. Treasury’s myRA while applying for their EITC.

 Graham O’Neill from the Department of Revenue stressed the importance of EITC for Philadelphia residents and gave an update on ongoing efforts in the city to increase EITC participation. The YouEarnedItPhilly website provides a wealth of information, allowing visitors to learn more about the Tax Credit, calculate their eligibility and potential rebate, and find tax preparation sites convenient to their location. The website and materials are available in at least nine different languages. Those interested in more information can download this flyer or visit

During the Roundtable discussion, break-out groups brainstormed ideas to increase participation. Many groups noted the need for outreach strategies to be vetted and led by community members, to maximize outreach and build trust. Participants also suggested that notices about EITC could be placed in maternity wards, faith-based institutions and community centers. Employers could also distribute information about the EITC alongside employee paychecks.

At each Roundtable, we ask participants to share their experience and opinions so we can improve future events. Here’s what you thought of our January Roundtable:

And in your own words:

What is one thing you will take away from this discussion to enhance your work?

  • “Personal relationships are key. All year long discussion is super important”
  • “Statistics on individuals taking advantage of EITC”
  • “Connecting with other partners to increase knowledge of available resources”

How could future Roundtables be improved?

  • “Include community residents, not just community stakeholders
  • Set up a list serve for participants to share information”
  • “Extra time for roundtable discussion”

Thanks as always for your participation and feedback!

Materials from January 2017 Roundtable:

CEO is seeking Shared Prosperity Fellows

As a Shared Prosperity Fellow, you will serve as an ambassador for CEO and work alongside stakeholders from government, philanthropic agencies, academia, business and consumer communities, all in an effort to achieve a common understanding of the dynamics of poverty in Philadelphia and be an active participant in making change around these complex issues.

Shared Prosperity Fellowships are offered in CEO’s policy and operations departments.  Fellowship positions are open for undergraduate and graduate students during the Summer 2017 (30 hours/week) and Fall 2017 (15-25 hours/week). If you attend an institution that operates on a trimester system you are encouraged to apply. Note that preference will be given to fall 2017 applicants who are available to serve for a full academic year.

A complete application with job descriptions is available here.

CEO is seeking a Promise Corps CCA Supervisor

The Promise Corps CCA Supervisor is responsible for program planning and implementation at two high schools in West Philadelphia.  They provide day-to-day leadership of their schools’ AmeriCorps members (CCA’s) and programs.

CEO is seeking an Operational Services Manager

The Operational Services Manager plans, directs, and coordinates supportive services for the department. Primary responsibilities include records and information management, facility management, and contract administration.

CEO is seeking a Contracts and Data Monitor

The Contracts and Data Monitor is a key staff position to ensure that CEO’s programs and contractors provide quality services in accordance with contracts, current laws, rules, policies and procedures. The Contracts and Data Monitor is responsible for the implementation of monitoring protocols, review and approval of invoices and monthly reports, desk reviews, performance reports and file reviews.  MORE

Philadelphia Promise Zone Awarded a Promise Neighborhoods Grant from the U.S. Department of Education

A five-year, $30 million grant will support local initiatives to:

  • Expand early literacy and early science efforts in local child care and pre-K programs;
  • Enhance K-12 instruction in these seven schools;
  • Empower parents to advocate for their children’s learning; and
  • Improve access to education and job training for young adults and all residents in the Promise Neighborhood.

More on Promise Neighborhoods

The 3rd Annual Uniting to Fight Poverty Summit

On November 10th, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) convened its 3rd annual Uniting to Fight Poverty Summit at the Arch Street Meeting House. Nearly 200 people attended for this full-day event, bringing together practitioners and service providers, community members, policy-makers and advocates. MORE