COMMUNITY RESULTS (Jan. 29, 2014) – Because of a series of cold snaps gripping much of the nation, including the local region, United Way of North Central Massachusetts made a $30,000 grant for fuel assistance.

“The unseasonably cold winter put a strain on households who would have otherwise fallen through the cracks without this grant,” commented Phil Grzewinski, president of United Way of North Central Massachusetts. “The fuel assistance dollars helped alleviate some of the stress these families were experiencing because of their extraordinary circumstances.”

According to John Keeney of New England Farm Workers’ Council, which manages the Federal Fuel Assistance program and they were able to help nearly 60 families because of the grant.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts created its Supplemental Basic Needs Fund to provide immediate emergency relief to individuals and families in the North Central Massachusetts region. Enterprise Bank & Trust, Gardner Lodge of Elks #1426, IC Federal Credit Union and Fidelity Bank, along with several individuals, have donated to the fund.

Contributions may be made to the fund by calling 978-345-1577, going online or mailing to United Way of North Central Massachusetts, Attn: Supplemental Basic Needs Fund, 649 John Fitch Hwy, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

Residents who need to know where to go for emergency assistance may call 2-1-1, which is a free call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit their website. The Mass 2-1-1 hotline is prepared to connect callers with help for basic needs and other health and human services. Mass 2-1-1 is a service supported by United Ways.