Serving United

Volunteers painting

April 16, 2020 — Schools closed. Staggering unemployment numbers. Field hospitals. Face masks now the norm. When we kicked off our 100th anniversary year in January, I had no idea how quickly things would change.

Thanks to our supporters, United Way has a long history of rising up to meet the needs of the community, particularly in times of crisis. And so, in this pandemic, we have continued and expanded what we do best: recruiting people eager to volunteer and connecting them to those who need help. Coordinating efforts among community providers and state and local governments to ensure the greatest impact. Finding innovative solutions to do the most good in our community.

Today we want to share inspiring stories of how United Way is bringing people and organizations together to make a difference, ask for your help in our work, and invite you to recognize your neighbors who are stepping up. We know it will take all of us, working together, to provide help today and create hope for tomorrow. I invite you to join us.

Jennifer Heath, President and CEO



“We need food.” In almost every conversation we have had with community members and partners, we are hearing about the growing need for food. This is particularly true for our older neighbors, those who are ill, and those who have suddenly lost their jobs. To help get more food to those least able to leave their homes to get it, we worked quickly with the Coordinated Food Assistance Network to create a new COVID-19 Emergency Food Delivery Program. United Way staff are on the ground coordinating volunteers who are packaging food and delivering it to our neighbors’ doorsteps. Together, we have activated 60 drivers who have made 665 deliveries of almost 1000 bags of groceries!

“I am currently studying to be a doctor, and although as a first-year medical student I can’t help in the healthcare setting, I can in other ways, such as by volunteering. I have been lucky enough to be healthy and minimally affected by this pandemic and want to be able to help those who have been less fortunate than I have.” – Local student serving as a volunteer driver

Click here to see our story on WTNH about these efforts.

You can help us meet the urgent need for food and supplies. Contact us at


Even before COVID-19, 46% of households in greater New Haven were struggling to afford the basics. Because of the pandemic, the bottom has dropped out for many families who were already living on the edge financially. Recognizing the need for an immediate response, Connecticut United Ways have come together to get money directly into the hands of families as fast as possible so that they could buy food, medicine, and pay their bills. Our mobile technology solution is quick and easy for people to use and ensures that they have money when they need it.

“Before the pandemic, I would take trips to the grocery store for small purchases if I needed something. Once COVID-19 came to our region, I knew I would need to make trips to the store as infrequently as possible…I couldn’t afford to pay for the groceries I needed for multiple weeks at a time along with my medical and home expenses. The funds from the gift card have allowed me to purchase the groceries I need and still be able to pay for my other bills during this time.” – Fund recipient

Your support will help us to expand this program and get more money into the hands of our neighbors who need it.


Help make sure your neighbors have food, housing, and medicine. Thanks to a generous donor, for a limited time, donations up to $25,000 will be matched to double your impact! We need your help now when the need is greatest.


Across Greater New Haven, we have seen individuals answer the call of service to care for others. At United Way, we call these people Game Changers, and we want to celebrate them and their work.

We need your help to spot those going above and beyond. Click here to nominate!


We are proud to recognize our amazing corporate partners Citizens Bank, Ion Bank, and Bank of America who have provided critical financial support to the community in response to the pandemic. Their contributions have helped provide meals and delivery services at local food pantries, increase telehealth capacity and PPE purchases for frontline workers, and get money directly into the hands of families who need it.

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