21 Family Fund Partners Receive $227,000 Additional Funding to Help with Basic Needs after Harsh Winter

BOSTON – United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has released an additional $227,000 from its Family Fund to help 21 community agencies meet the increased demand for help during this unprecedented winter.

As part of the Family Fund, United Way works with more than 26 community organizations in our region that support basic needs. This year’s “perfect storm” of winter conditions – harsh weather, extreme cold, crippling transit, and lost business and wages – has resulted in many families exhausting their limited resources to heat their homes, pay their rent, and feed their families.

In January, United Way’s Family Fund provided $150,000 for fuel assistance to 5 community partners in Boston, Cambridge, Lawrence, and Quincy, thanks to a grant from National Grid Foundation. But many of these agencies reported recently that they have been unable to keep up with the high demand and need this winter.

  • United Way partner agency Greater Lawrence Community Action Council reported a major increase in calls for assistance from people who use oil and propane gas – with more than 830 calls of this nature in February alone.
  • At Quincy Community Action Programs, according to their fuel assistance program, 614 deliverable fuel clients do not have enough benefits to receive the minimum required deliverable amount in February. In most of these cases, the agency did not have the ability to assist due to lack of funding for these energy sources.

“We have all been impacted by this crazy winter, but some of us much more seriously than others,” said Michael Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “Nobody should have to choose between heating their home and feeding their family and I am pleased that United Way’s Family Fund has been able to provide some additional help to our vulnerable neighbors as they recover from this harsh winter.”

The additional Family Fund allocation will reach even more communities, including 21 partner agencies from south of Boston through Merrimack Valley.  In addition to the National Grid Foundation, supporters of United Way’s Family Fund include Bank of America and US Trust.

The 21 Family Fund agencies receiving funds this round include:

  • Action for Boston Community Development Housing & Energy
  • American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay
  • Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
  • Casa Myrna Vazquez
  • City Mission Society
  • Community Teamwork (Lowell)
  • Council of Social Concern
  • Ecumenical Social Action Committee, Inc. (ESAC)
  • FamilyAid Boston
  • Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Interfaith Social Services (Quincy)
  • Lynn Economic Opportunity
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank
  • Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
  • Family ACCESS of Newton
  • Pine Street Inn
  • Roca
  • Stars
  • The Greater Boston Food Bank
  • The Food Project
  • Weymouth Food Pantry

Read more about the impact of this winter on our community partners and local families.

You can help: Give to the Family Fund.