United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) announced today the investment of $498,000 to support education, financial stability, and food insecurity programs in Greater Danbury, Greater New Milford, and Stamford.
The funding supports households that fall within the ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) income threshold and below. ALICE families earn income above the federal poverty level, but not enough to make ends meet. ALICE includes the people we depend on every day, such as childcare providers, nursing assistants, and grocery store cashiers.
“We are hearing firsthand the difference that these programs make in the lives of ALICE families in Western Connecticut,” said Kimberly Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of UWWC. “Helping ALICE households keep fresh food in the house, support children's success in school and access free financial services to help families stay on budget and save—these are ways we can alleviate stress and improve the lives of people who work at meaningful jobs, but just don’t make enough to pay all of the bills. United Way is pleased to invest half a million dollars in our communities to support programs that provide critical services to our hardworking neighbors.”
UWWC’s funding for education helps families afford quality early childhood, after-school and enrichment programs for their children:
- $157,440 will support 10 early childhood agencies that will make quality childcare more affordable for parents in the region. Childcare can be the greatest single expense for families with preschool children, consuming as much as 28% of a family’s income if they have one infant and one toddler.
- $125,560 will support 13 after-school programs that provide affordable and accessible after-school care for lower income families.
- $75,000 will be invested in United Way’s ALICE Enrichment Fund, which helps families afford the cost of out-of-school activities for their children. In 2017, more than 350 children were able to play sports, take swim lessons, learn a musical instrument, or participate in a variety of other activities because of this fund, which provides funding support up to $300 per child.
To help ALICE families achieve stronger financial footing, United Way will fund $62,000 to three nonprofit organizations: The Bridge to Independence and Career Opportunities (TBICO) in Danbury, Catholic Charities, and Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) in Stamford. Each agency will deliver financial literacy training and budget coaching to individuals in the ALICE population. The partner agencies will collect three key outcomes to measure clients’ success:
- improving credit health,
- helping clients achieve one financial goal, and
- ensuring adherence to a household budget.
Since United Way began funding financial stability programs in 2016, more than 600 individuals have benefited from these programs.
UWWC will invest $78,000 to alleviate the stress faced by residents who are food insecure. Funding supports Connecticut Food Bank to bring monthly mobile food pantries to Stamford, Danbury and New Milford. Combined, these pantries provide free, fresh food to 600 households each month. Additionally, Filling in the Blanks and Connecticut Food Bank are funded to provide weekend food packs to public school students in Danbury and Stamford. UWWC focuses on providing fresh, healthy food that improve nutritious choices while reducing a family’s grocery bill.