Hartford Foundation Awards More Than $350,000 in Grants to Support Food Programs, Other Basic Services
44 Nonprofits Receive Emergency Assistance Grants
Every Wednesday, volunteers at A Place of Grace food pantry set up a small grocery store in the Grace Episcopal Church Hartford in Parkville. On Thursday mornings, volunteers–predominantly Parkville community members–greet and welcome neighborhood residents who select their food for the week, while the volunteers restock shelves and break down cardboard boxes for recycling.
The Rev. Chris Rose and parishioner, Carol Hilton started the pantry in the mid-1990s. Initially, they only distributed day-old bread, but as the needs of the community grew, a wing was added onto Grace Church to store and distribute additional types of food. Under the leadership of Rev. Rowena Kemp and coordinator Kathie Rovetti, the food pantry and mutual aid program continues to grow. A Place of Grace now serves an average 240 families per week, up from 140 families before COVID.
During the pandemic, the pantry continued providing pre-bagged food outside, taking away the important power of individual choice. In August 2021, when the immediate threat from COVID declined and with the addition of an air scrubber (made possible by a grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving), the pantry was able to welcome the community back inside to select their groceries. Now Grace Episcopal Church has received a $15,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation to assist in providing for the needs of Parkville residents.
“Our partnerships are our greatest strength,” said Rev. Kemp. “We are grateful to parishioners who continue to donate money, food items, school supplies, clothing, coats, and their time. We are also grateful to the many faith-based organizations throughout the region for their numerous donations in support of our efforts. This grant from the Hartford Foundation will help to ensure that we can continue to support the needs of our community.”
Grace Episcopal Church was one of 44 nonprofit organizations receiving a total of $359,500 to provide food and other basic human needs to residents throughout Greater Hartford. This is the second year the Foundation has made emergency assistance grants available twice a year, based on feedback from nonprofits that having access to funds earlier helps in planning and meeting community needs.
The application process for the second round of Basic Human Needs (BHN) grants began on August 1, 2023. To learn more about this and other grant opportunities, nonprofits can visit https://www.hfpg.org/nonprofits/current-grant-opportunities.
The Foundation’s BHN Emergency Assistance grants focus on increasing access to food and addressing immediate needs such as personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers), utility assistance, emergency transportation, and other items essential to wellbeing. This grant opportunity prioritizes nonprofits that serve neighborhoods and towns in the region with a higher percentage of residents living in poverty, seek to reduce barriers to equitable access to basic needs and provide direct support to clients. Grants are made using an equity lens, acknowledging that many of these barriers disproportionately impact people of color.
These grants support both regional and local agencies in Greater Hartford. Grants range from $3,000 and $20,000 and are primarily funded through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation with additional dollars from the Foundation’s discretionary funding.
Of the 44 grants:
- Twenty-six are primarily for food or food assistance ($205,500).
- Seven are primarily for emergency financial assistance ($66,500).
- Five are primarily for personal care items ($40,500).
- Five primarily enable organizations to provide emergency case management ($37,000).
- One is primarily for emergency medical aid ($10,000).
“When individuals and families cannot afford to pay for groceries, housing, medical care or other basic necessities, it is incredibly challenging for children to perform in school or adults to go to work each and every day,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Investments Officer Cierra Stancil. “Providing the most basic of human needs helps individuals and families stabilize themselves on their way toward upward social and economic mobility.”
Hartford Foundation 2023 Basic Human Needs Grants
|Organization Name||Project Description||Primary Purpose||Grant Amount|
|4-CT Corp||Grant funds will be used provide cash assistance debit cards to high-needs patients in crisis at a local community health center. 100% of funding will be passed onto patients. In 2022, common uses for the cash assistance were: food, medical supplies, over the counter medication, housing, and utilities.||Emergency financial assistance||$5,000|
|Aknew||Grant funds will be used to provide housing assistance, food, transportation, utility assistance, school uniforms, work/school related supplies, such as pencils, pens and paper and other basic needs.||Emergency financial assistance||$5,000|
|Angel of Edgewood, Inc.||Grant funds will be used to support families with needs such as rent/security deposits, diapers and formula, clothing, pharmacy co-pays, fuel, and childcare payments.||Emergency financial assistance||$8,000|
|Asylum Hill Congregational Church||This grant will help purchase food and supplies for a weekly community meal. Local non-profits and community service agencies are invited to join the meal each week to share information about resources, opportunities, and foster relationships with community members.||Food or food assistance||$6,000|
|Chrysalis Center, Inc.||Dollars will be used to cover supplies needed for growing fresh vegetables distributed via Chrysalis Center’s Food Hub which serves food insecure Hartford households.||Food or food assistance||$7,500|
|Community Health Resources, Inc.||Funds will provide food, clothing, personal care, rental assistance, help with utilities, bus fare to mental and behavioral health services, and childcare. Clients come from adult and child outpatient practices across the Foundation’s 29-town region.||Emergency financial assistance||$13,500|
|Community Health Services, Inc.||This grant will support uninsured or underinsured patients–particularly immigrant populations in the Northend of Hartford–with various over the counter medical needs, emergency food supplies, winter clothing, infant formula, and disposable diapers.||Emergency medical aid||$10,000|
|Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition, Inc.||This grant will cover up to four months’ rent and utilities for as many as 50 individuals from countries such as Ukraine and Afghanistan who are resettling primarily in Hartford, East Hartford, Wethersfield, and West Hartford. Immigrants and refugees will be enrolled into ESL programs and children into school.||Emergency financial assistance||$15,000|
|Covenant to Care for Children, Inc.||Grant funds will be used to provide basic essentials and/or mandated goods to at-risk young people, birth to 18, who have been removed from their caregivers’ homes.||Emergency and/or informal case management services||$5,500|
|The Diaper Bank of Connecticut||This grant will provide a supplemental supply of diapers to 73 babies in Greater Hartford for one year. All of their families are low-income, meeting the criteria of “below 200% of the federal poverty level,” targeting the lowest-income individuals and families, and the organizations that serve them.||Personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers, sanitary products)||$10,000|
|Eastern Diocese PNCC – St. John the Baptist Parish (Manchester)||Grant funds will be used to provide food, personal care, clothes and emergency rent and utility assistance to families from diverse backgrounds, primarily East of the River.||Emergency financial assistance||$5,000|
|Ellington Farmers Market Inc.||This money will be used to distribute vouchers to SNAP recipients, low-income seniors and WIC recipients (primarily from east of the River) to purchase food at the Ellington Farmers’ Market.||Food or food assistance||$10,000|
|Enfield Food Shelf, Inc.||This grant will be used to purchase food and supplies across the agency’s four food programs.||Food or food assistance||$13,000|
|Enfield People for People, Inc.||Funds will be used to provide weekly outreach and informal case management services to the local homeless population and operate an overnight warming center starting fall 2023 through winter 2024.||Emergency and/or informal case management services||$15,000|
|Family Essentials Network, Inc. (Vernon)||Grant funds will be used to operate a food pantry available 7 days a week by appointment.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|Fishers of Men Ministries Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to purchase personal care products, food, clothing, and case management services. Basic needs services are available weekdays including early morning and evening hours.||Emergency and/or informal case management services||$5,000|
|Forge City Works, Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to double SNAP benefits at Forge City Works’ Hartford based farmers market and at a new grocery store soon to be opened on Broad Street in Hartford.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry, Inc.||Grant funds will be used to purchase food and water for a daily free lunch food program in downtown Hartford that operates 365 days of the year. The Franciscan Center often refers patrons to other local nonprofits for services.||Food or food assistance||$7,500|
|Friend to Friend, Inc. (East Granby)||Grant funds will be used to purchase locally-grown produce and pay for CSA programs to East Granby residents who are elderly or experiencing physical challenges.||Food or food assistance||$3,000|
|Gentle Love Diaper Pantry (Manchester)||Grant funds will be used to purchase diapers, training pants, and baby wipes for distribution through community partners East of the River.||Personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers, sanitary products)||$7,500|
|Gifts of Love, Inc.||Grant funds will used to purchase food, personal care items, clothing, and household goods for the Avon and Hartford food pantries.||Food or food assistance||$20,000|
|Goodwin University||Grant funds will be used, in part, to purchase culturally appropriate foods (including Halal and Kosher options) and provide emergency financial assistance to students, faculty and families of the Goodwin University system.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|Grace Episcopal Church Hartford||Grant funds will provide food to 250 families weekly through a food pantry in the Parkville neighborhood.||Food or food assistance||$15,000|
|Grace Lutheran Church (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to food, personal care items, diapers, money for bus passes, assistance with utilities, medical assistance, and informal case management services.||Emergency and/or informal case management services||$7,500|
|Greystone Foundation, Inc. (Avon)||Grant funds will provide emergency financial assistance paid directly to clients’ landlord, utility, repair shop, leasing company, or health care provider to assist the clients regain household financial stability without the concern of eviction, repossession, or service interruptions.||Emergency financial assistance||$5,000|
|Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective||Grant funds will support basic needs for low-income members of the LGBTQ+ population, including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) at sites in Hartford and Manchester.||Food or food assistance||$8,500|
|Healing Meals Foundation Corporation (Simsbury)||Grant funds will be used to feed 20 people hot meals over a 12-week period while they are facing a medical crisis or receiving medical treatment.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|Holcomb Farm, Inc. (Granby)||Grant funds will be used to provide approximately 2000 pounds of food wholesale which will increase the amount of fresh food delivered to the Open Cupboard Pantry, a weekly food distribution program that operates out of the First Church in Granby.||Food or food assistance||$8,000|
|Hope Home City, Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds would be used primarily to support a Saturday morning food program serving homeless individuals residing around South Green Park in Downtown Hartford.||Food or food assistance||$3,500|
|Horizons Youth Enrichment Program, Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to provide food/groceries and personal care items to youth, young adults, and the homeless community.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|House of Bread, Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to purchase meat, poultry, and fish for their pantry services and soup kitchen services.||Food or food assistance||$15,000|
|Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford, Inc.||Grant funds will help provide 600 people with fresh produce, eggs, bread, other pantry staples and canned goods including culturally specific (including Halal and Kosher) foods.||Food or food assistance||$9,000|
|Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc. (Hartford)||Grant funds would be used to purchase food to be served through a soup kitchen located in the Asylum Hill neighborhood as well as food and supplies to stock weekly pantry bags.||Food or food assistance||$15,000|
|Manchester Community College||Grant funds would be used to stock personal care items, such as personal hygiene products a pantry on campus to serve low to no income MCC students.||Personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers, sanitary products)||$5,000|
|Network Against Domestic Abuse of North Central CT, Inc. (Enfield)||Grant funds will be used to provide stabilizing items while victims of violence begin to rebuild, such as perishable and non-perishable foods, toiletries, baby formula and diapers as well as essentials such as pots and pans.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|New Testament Tabernacle (Bloomfield)||Grant funds will be used to purchase infrastructure (including a refrigerator) and supplies to distribute food to approximately 700 people in a year.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
|No Animal Left Unfed, Inc. (Bloomfield/Hartford)||Grant funds will support a range of needs from food and personal care items, ADA transportation tickets, rent and other forms of transportation (bus fare, gas), primarily serving populations who are senior or who are homeless.||Personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers, sanitary products)||$3,000|
|Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to purchase, primarily food but also toiletries, diapers, sanitary supplies, and clothing, primarily for people referred from the organization’s Emergency Department (ED) at two sites Woodland St. and Coventry St. Emergency Rooms are often a landing place for people who are victims of violence, experiencing undiagnosed chronic illness, and an impromptu, de facto shelter for homelessness. Bags of food are also prepared by volunteers and distributed monthly to City of Hartford Housing Sites and community organizations located in north end neighborhoods.||Food or food assistance||$13,000|
|Second Congregational Church (Manchester)||Grant funds will be used to support the informal case management provided by the SCC’s pantry by purchasing personal care items and emergency financial assistance client’s needs.||Emergency and/or informal case management services||$4,000|
|The Brooks Token, Inc.
|Grant funds will be used to purchase food, clothing, personal care items, transportation, medications, formula, diapers, sanitary needs, clothing, and other basic needs. Clients include families with children, disabled elderly and their caregivers, and homeless individuals.||Personal care items (e.g., deodorant, diapers, sanitary products)||$8,000|
|The Open Hearth Association (Hartford)||Grant funds would be used to purchase food, personal care items, and other basic needs of shelter clients.||Food or food assistance||$12,000|
|The Salvation Army (Hartford)||Grant funds will be used to purchase food for food pantries their food pantries on Washington Street and Nelson Street as well as providing utility assistance for homeless and low to no income families and households receiving case management services from social workers.||Food or food assistance||$10,500|
|Town of Simsbury||Grant funds would be used to provide fresh food and other basic needs to low-income residents of Simsbury and associated villages at monthly “Cheese Days” where all pantry clients can obtain non-perishable food items, household and hygiene items, paper goods and fresh produce.||Food or food assistance||$6,000|
|Urban Alliance, Inc.||Grant funds would be used to support monthly Free Grocery/Food Distribution Events which are projected to serve between 200-400 residents.||Food or food assistance||$5,000|
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $948 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.