BOSTON – National Grid Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to provide emergency financial assistance to help local families in need. This financial assistance comes as households continue to grapple with economic strain resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the world braces for impacts on energy supply due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
United Way will distribute the funds to 13 community-based organizations serving several communities hard hit by the economic impact of the Covid-19 emergency, including Boston, Chelsea, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, and Quincy.
“We are pleased to again be able to help our neighbors by continuing our annual support of United Way’s emergency assistance program,” said Ed White, Executive Director of the National Grid Foundation. “We are especially thrilled to again provide additional funding this season to offer even more relief for fuel-neutral energy costs during this unprecedented situation. We have a long history of serving as a community partner and understand the critical need in our communities. We are grateful to organizations like United Way as they help deliver so many much-needed services at this difficult time.”
While economic challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic have only deepened due to the onslaught of the Omicron wave, the region has also experienced multiple winter storms in recent weeks. According to the National Weather Service Boston, January featured below-average temperatures and was the fourth-snowiest January on record in the city. In addition, making this financial assistance particularly critical for families requiring fuel assistance.
“We are experiencing yet another winter disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and United Way is committed to supporting families across our region, particularly our most vulnerable households, in every way we can,” said Bob Giannino, President and CEO at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. “We are grateful to the National Grid Foundation for their continued support year after year, and we are proud to partner with community-based organizations to ensure this emergency assistance goes directly to families most in need this winter.”
Funds ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 each will be awarded from the National Grid Foundation grant to Catholic Charities of Boston, Community Action, Inc., Community Teamwork, East Boston Social Centers, Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Lawrence CommunityWorks, LEO Inc., Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development, The Neighborhood Developers, Quincy Community Action Program, Inc., South Boston Neighborhood House, South Shore Stars, 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 the National Grid Foundation provided fuel assistance averaging $341 to 732 households in the communities served by these partner agencies.
The National Grid Foundation has supported United Way’s efforts in this area for 17 years, bringing the total of its support to over $2 million. Last year, and into early 2022, the National Grid Foundation continued helping its neighbors with food access, human services and emergency heating fund support assisting local communities impacted by COVID-19. Under a $1.5 million donation, more than 50 non-profit organizations across New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, including United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley are supporting thousands of individuals in receiving assistance with basic human needs, hunger relief, and fuel-neutral winter energy costs. During 2020, the National Grid Foundation Board of Directors approved a total of $2 million in COVID support and emergency services funding to aid communities in need.
About 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 23rd year, has granted more than $30 million to local community organizations.