BOSTON — The National Grid Foundation has awarded United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley a $250,000 grant to provide emergency financial assistance to help local families in need pay for their utilities this winter, the organizations announced today.
United Way will distribute the funds to 16 community-based organizations serving several communities hard hit by the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis, including Boston, Chelsea, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Randolph and Quincy.
“The loss of income created financial setbacks impacting the ability of many hourly workers to pay for their housing, childcare, food and utilities,” said Bob Giannino, President and Chief Executive Officer at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “We are committed to ensuring our most vulnerable residents are able to meet their essential needs by working with local nonprofit organizations, state and municipal leaders, and partners such as the National Grid Foundation.”
United Way established the Covid-19 Family Support Fund last March to help families impacted by the public health and economic crisis. Assistance is prioritized for displaced workers, immigrants, families with children at home who usually receive free meals at school, domestic violence survivors, and those at-risk of losing housing. Throughout the pandemic, United Way has partnered with more than a dozen cities and towns, including Lynn, Chelsea, Lawrence, Haverhill and Randolph, to create localized relief funds, fostering collaboration between nonprofits, mayors and other elected officials to support front-line workers and those most deeply impacted by the pandemic in some of the hardest-hit cities in our region.
“Countless workers in our region remain underemployed with reduced hours and are struggling to make ends meet,” said Ed White, Executive Director of the National Grid Foundation, “Our partnership with United Way is critical to connecting people with emergency assistance to meet their essential needs quickly at a time when they need it most.”
Funds ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 each will be awarded from the National Grid Foundation grant to Catholic Charities of Boston, Community Action, Inc., East Boston Social Centers, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Community Teamwork, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), Jamaica Plain Community Development Corporation, Lynn Economic Opportunity, Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development, Quincy Community Action Programs, Rian Immigrant Center, South Boston Neighborhood House, South Shore Stars, The Neighborhood Developers and Urban Edge Housing Corporation.
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 fuel assistance to over 800 households, providing critical assistance to stabilize families during the pandemic. The National Grid Foundation has supported United Way’s efforts in this area for 16 years, bringing the total of its support to over $1.9 million.
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 has granted more than $27 million to local community organizations.