United Way of Western Connecticut has partnered with Bank of America to assist Stamford residents struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will help low-income and recently unemployed Stamford residents obtain healthy food.
Bank of America's support is going directly to the United Way of Western Connecticut’s ALICE Emergency Fund, which is awarding individuals and families who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic up to $200 in cash assistance to help them pay for food and other necessities. Dollars are downloaded directly to the mobile wallets of Stamford residents who have been identified as most in need by local social service agencies. The ALICE Emergency Fund allows people to get relief quickly and in a way that follows social distancing protocols.
Since the pandemic began, The ALICE Emergency Fund has also allowed United Way to sign up nearly 300 additional Stamford families for the Healthy Savings Program. From March 29 through May 9, 2020, this program will provide $20 in free, fresh produce to families each week when they shop at participating grocery stores. This doubles the original benefit provided by the program. Healthy Savings also allows participants to save $50 or more each week on other healthy staples, such as lean meats, dairy, eggs, and wholegrains.
Additional grant funding will go toward weekend food packs for Stamford children. More than 50% of Stamford’s children are on free or reduced-price lunch. While school is out of session, many continue to receive grab-and-go meals throughout the week. But families often struggle to feed children over the weekend, especially now that many parents who work in low-paying sectors may have completely lost their jobs. These weekend food packs fill a void and ensure that children in food insecure households have something nutritious to eat over the weekend. While Stamford schools are closed, the food is being distributed through Domus.
“Food is the greatest need we are seeing among people in Stamford who have been financially affected by this crisis,” said Bridget Fox, Chief Impact Officer for United Way of Western Connecticut. “We are very grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for allowing us to get more healthy food to people during this trying time.”
“By extending the reach of the ALICE Emergency Fund and Healthy Savings Program, United Way of Western Connecticut can now help local communities with cash assistance to access fresh, healthy food during this time. Thank you, United Way of Western Connecticut, for providing vital support to our neighbors in need.” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut Market President for Bank of America.