Stand United COVID-19 Response Fund awards grants to 11 local agencies to help provide food and household essentials
United Way of North Central Massachusetts has distributed $22,500 in grants through its Stand United COVID-19 Response Fund to help local agencies provide for basic needs of individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Launched in March, the fund enables United Way’s network of partner organizations throughout North Central Massachusetts to help those hardest hit by COVID-19 as they deal with food, childcare and housing challenges
For the first phase of its grant making process, the fund awarded grants to 11 agencies to support basic needs of their clients, including food, hygiene products, essential household goods, and diapers. The agencies include Athol Area YMCA, Catholic Charities, Fitchburg Salvation Army, Gardner CAC, Growing Places, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Our Father’s House, Making Opportunity Count (MOC), Spanish American Center, Winchendon CAC, and YWCA Central Massachusetts.
Anticipating that needs will evolve from basic necessities to financial hardship due to increased quarantining and business closures, the fund’s second grant making phase will focus on worker relief. UWNCM will make larger grants to two predetermined partners to serve as distribution hubs that will focus on providing assistance with living expenses for residents who experience significant economic hardship, such as rent, utilities, and car payments.
“During this unprecedented health crisis, it is important now more than ever that the community comes together to support those in need. UWNCM is proud to partner with local agencies to provide critical resources to affected families and individuals as expeditiously and effectively as possible,” says UWNCM President Kory Eng.
UWNCM is also leading efforts to keep the community updated about COVID-19 resources and needs by holding weekly meetings with local nonprofit and government stakeholders. In addition, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the United Way’s Mass 211 hotline is providing consumers with comprehensive information and referrals related to the virus.
Support the Stand United COVID-19 Response Fund by making a donation online or texting COVIDHELP to 50511. One-hundred percent of donations made to the fund support people in need.
The United Way of North Central Massachusetts serves the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Devens, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Leominster, Littleton, Pepperell, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.