For immediate release – In response to the increasing demand for food assistance, United Way of North Central Massachusetts made 16 grants to help meet an increasing demand for basic need services.

“We are alarmed at the significant uptick in demand for food, so we have taken this proactive step of making nearly $50,000 in new grants to the frontline providers,” commented Phil Grzewinski, president of United Way of North Central Massachusetts.

The following agencies received funds to purchase food: YWCA/ Battered Women’s Resources, Fitchburg/Leominster CAC, Gardner CAC, Our Father’s House, Salvation Army, Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, Catholic Charities, Ginny’s Helping Hand Food Pantry, Spanish American Center, Loaves and Fishes, Gardner VNA Community Services Pantry, Townsend Ecumenical Food Pantry, Montachusett Veteran’s Outreach and Winchendon Community Action Council.

Enterprise Bank & Trust, Gardner Lodge of Elks #1426, IC Federal Credit Union and Fidelity Bank, along with several individuals, have donated to the fund.

United Way of North Central Massachusetts created its Supplemental Basic Needs Fund several years ago as a result of the economic downturn, which strained the capacity of local food pantries.

Contributions may be made to the fund by calling 978-345-1577, going online at 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 can call 2-1-1, which is a free call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or visit to access their website. The Mass 2-1-1 hotline is prepared to connect callers with help for basic needs and other health and human services.