National Grid Foundation Awards $150,000 to United Way for Local Families in Need

February 26, 2019

BOSTON — The National Grid Foundation has awarded United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley a $150,000 grant to provide emergency fuel-neutral financial assistance to local families in need this winter, the organizations announced today.  United Way will distribute the funds to six community-based organizations serving several cities, including Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, and Somerville.

The $150,000 gift from National Grid is being distributed through United Way’s Family Fund, which helps families across Eastern Massachusetts make ends meet by assisting with basic needs such as heating, food, and housing.  A new report by Prosperity Now shows that only 56 percent of Massachusetts families report keeping emergency savings in the past year.  That means almost half of Massachusetts households did not keep emergency savings, and 60% of households in America have experienced a financial shock in the past 12 months, according to Pew research.

“When an emergency or an unexpected financial crisis hits, families should not be forced to choose between paying for food, fuel or their rent or mortgage payments,’ said Michael K. Durkin, United Way President and Chief Executive Officer.  “But we know this need is there.  Last year, United Way’s Mass 2-1-1 helpline received over 9,400 requests for help with just these three basic needs. The funding from the National Grid Foundation is critical to our efforts to provide families in crisis with direct emergency assistance.”

“We are pleased to again be able to help our neighbors by supporting the United Way’s Family Fund,” said Ed White, Executive Director of the National Grid Foundation, “For the fourteenth year in a row, this partnership helps connect people with emergency assistance and basic needs when they need it most.  We are thrilled to team up with United Way and be part of a program that helps so many.”

The National Grid Foundation grant to United Way will benefit six community-based organizations serving several cities, including Boston, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Quincy, and Somerville:   

  • $25,000 to Action for Boston Community Development
  • $25,000 to Catholic Charities
  • $25,000 to Greater Lawrence Community Action Council
  • $25,000 to Lynn Economic Opportunity
  • $25,000 to Quincy Community Action Programs
  • $25,000 to The Neighborhood Developers

One hundred percent of the funds are designated for direct distribution to families in need of fuel neutral assistance.  Last year, funding from National Grid Foundation helped provide assistance to 423 households in the communities served by these partners.  In 2018, United Way’s Family Fund served requests from more than 1,800 families.

The National Grid Foundation has supported United Way’s efforts in this area for 14 years, bringing the total of its support to over $1.5 million. 

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About the National Grid Foundation
National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation now in its 20th year has granted nearly $25 million to local community organizations.