Winter has barely begun, but already our region has experienced extreme cold and debilitating snowstorms. For families who rely on federal fuel assistance, however, their winter’s supply has likely already run out. Meanwhile, we continue to see news reports on the spiking cost of energy and how families are worried about unemployment benefits not being extended.
For years United Way has been working with community programs and partners like National Grid Foundation to get more resources to those who need it most. Last year, we helped 331 families meet their emergency heating and utility needs in communities across Eastern Massachusetts. Today, we once again came together as National Grid Foundation increased their grant from $80,000 to $90,000 to help even more people this year.
“We’ve all felt the effects of the recent extreme cold, but for many families who struggle to heat their homes, it is not just unpleasant, but dangerous,” said Mike Durkin, President of United Way. “Cost of fuel, need for assistance, and the gap between rich and poor are all increasing, while the only thing falling is the temperature. National Grid Foundation once again stepping up their support shows a true commitment to working families and will make a real impact.”
The announcement was made today at Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP), one of nine agencies to receive funding from the grant to help local families with heating assistance. The funds will be distributed through United Way’s Family Fund, which helps struggling families across Eastern Massachusetts make ends meet by assisting with basic needs such as heating, food, and housing.
Quincy Community Action Programs will receive $10,000 from the Family Fund and the National Grid Foundation Grant to support their heating assistance program. The program helps struggling residents in Quincy and the surrounding communities supplement heating costs for the months of November through April, while also offering a range of services that help people save money on energy expenses – from paying a portion of their annual winter heating costs to help with home weatherization improvements that improve efficiency and lower household heating costs.
“This funding comes at a critical time for our clients,” said Beth Ann Strollo, QCAP’s executive director. “For families who qualify for federal fuel assistance, in many cases, it is simply not enough to get them through the winter. We are extremely grateful to National Grid for recognizing this urgent need. Their support will help families stay warm this season.”
The National Grid Foundation grant will benefit families in 9 communities through the following agencies:
- Cambridge Family and Children’s Service
- City Mission (Boston)
- Community Teamwork (Lowell)
- Ecumenical Social Action Committee (Jamaica Plain)
- Tri-CAP (Malden)
- Greater Lawrence Community Action
- Lynn Economic Opportunity
- Newton Community Service Center
- Quincy Community Action Programs
“United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley’s emergency assistance program both play an essential role by providing fuel neutral assistance to the neediest members of our community. National Grid Foundation is proud to lend a ‘warm helping hand’ to our neighbors so they don’t have to choose between buying food and paying for their energy bill,” said Bob Keller, President, National Grid Foundation.