$500,000 in Grants Awarded by Hartford Foundation to Support Food Programs, Other Basic Services

Grants totaling $500,000 have been awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to 65 nonprofit agencies to support programs providing food and other basic human needs to clients throughout Greater Hartford.

The grants support both regional and local agencies in Avon, Bloomfield, East Hartford, Enfield, Hartford, Manchester, Newington, Rocky Hill, Simsbury, Vernon, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor. Grants range between $3,500 and $15,000 and are primarily funded through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation. The size of each grant was determined by the type and scope of the program. The majority of the grants —more than $300,000—were awarded to agencies for use in food programs to support current needs as well as food services during the upcoming holidays.

The Open Hearth Association of Hartford offers a model of care, including an overnight shelter and transitional living program. Its staff provides support to residents in the areas of addiction recovery, educational initiatives, life skills, and career planning. The agency reports measurable improvement to the lives of the men who seek its help every year.

“At The Open Hearth, where occupancy is over 100 men every day or 36,500 per year, we used the $10,000 Basic Human Needs grant to help the 750 different clients address basic human needs (110,000 meals a year, daily showers, laundry and toiletries), but also lesser known essentials like securing client identification (birth certificate, social security card etc.) and other personal documents,” said Marilyn Rosetti, executive director of Open Hearth Association. “This would not be possible without the award from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.”

The Enfield Food Shelf serves 350 to 400 client families from Enfield per week throughout the year using a grocery-style pantry model. In total, there are more than 900 families currently registered with an average of 10 new client families registering each week.

“On behalf of the clients, volunteers and Board of Directors of the Enfield Food Shelf, we are so thankful that organizations such as Hartford Foundation for Public Giving provide basic human needs grants,” said Kathleen Souvigney, executive direct of Enfield Food Shelf. “Support like this $9,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation is essential to allowing us to maintain a sufficient variety of products available for our clients and to provide balanced meals for their families. Our families range widely in size and reason for need. With the food assistance the Hartford Foundation has helped to provide, our clients’ families are better able to manage the limited resources available to them and, in some cases, work toward self-sufficiency.”

Other services supported by the grants include emergency housing, fuel assistance, medical and dental services, employment counseling, clothing and other personal care items and radio services for the blind.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, founded in 1925, is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. It receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals, families and organizations and in 2013 awarded grants of more than $29 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations. For more information about the Hartford Foundation, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.