Hartford Foundation Awards More Than $224,000 in Grants to Support Food Programs, Other Basic Services

21 Nonprofits Receive Emergency Assistance Grants

For more than 40 years, The Cornerstone Foundation has provided residents of Vernon and surrounding communities with access to food, clothing, and shelter. This volunteer-driven effort started off as a nightly homeless shelter, developed into a soup kitchen, and now operates five separate programs in five buildings in the Rockville section of Vernon.

Cornerstone provides help to residents with a community kitchen, three shelters, a food pantry, clothing bank, a diaper bank, community outreach center and many vital annual initiatives. To expand on their own offerings, Cornerstone also partners with other organizations including Connecticut Foodshare, which operates a mobile food pantry on two sites in Vernon.   

Just as it has adapted its services to respond to the needs of the community in the past, Cornerstone is now looking to adjust its vision to include a focus on prevention while still caring for those most in need. Cornerstone has received a $15,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to assist in the organization’s efforts to support the community.

“Hartford Foundation has been a long-time partner with Cornerstone,” said Cornerstone Executive Director Sharon Redfern. “Their assistance has been invaluable in helping us serve our struggling neighbors. This grant means households can get more food on the table from our Food Cupboard, daily meals at our Community Kitchen, and support for our homeless shelter clients as they work towards getting housing."  

Cornerstone is one of 21 nonprofit organizations receiving a total of $224,500 to provide food and other basic human needs to residents of towns 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 better meet community needs.

The Foundation’s Basic Human Needs Emergency Assistance grants focus on increasing access to food and addressing immediate needs such as personal care items (e.g., deodorant and diapers), paying for utilities, emergency transportation, and other items essential to wellbeing. These grants prioritize nonprofits that serve neighborhoods and towns 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.

This most recent round of grants supports both regional and local agencies in Greater Hartford. Grants range from $4,000 and $16,000 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 21 grants:

  • Eleven are primarily for food or food assistance ($109,500).
  • Five are primarily for emergency financial aid assistance ($53,000).
  • Two are primarily for personal care items ($11,500).
  • One is for emergency clothing needs ($20,000)
  • One is for organizations to provide emergency case management ($15,000).
  • One is for aftercare for victims of domestic violence ($15,000)

“The Hartford Foundation has long recognized that without access to enough food, housing, medical care and other basic necessities, children are challenged to perform in schools and adults are challenged to handle the responsibilities of work and taking care of their families,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Impact Officer Cierra Stancil. “Providing people with support to ensure their basic needs are addressed is a vital step towards stabilizing lives and allowing them to put themselves on a path for social and economic mobility.”

Anyone can sign up to receive information about future grant opportunities, including basic human needs emergency assistance grants. 

Organization NameProject DescriptionRecommendationGeographic AreaPrimary Purpose
Advancing Connecticut Together, Inc.Grant funds will be used to provide lunch and breakfast as part of a daily meal service for ~20 HIV+ clients at Connections Wellness Center on Albany Avenue. Breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Friday. $5,000 HartfordFood or Food Assistance
American Red Cross - CTGrant funds will be used to provide direct emergency assistance to residents who have been impacted by a fire or local natural disaster. Assistance is given for financial needs such as financial assistance for hotel stay, clothing, personal items, diapers and formula when necessary, prescriptions, any other necessary items.$15,000 Greater HartfordEmergency Financial Assistance
Bloomfield Public SchoolsGrant funds will be used by Family Center at Laurel to purchase clothing, diapers, formula, personal care items, school uniforms, and other basic needs to support families that live in Bloomfield or use the early care and education system in Bloomfield. $4,000 BloomfieldPersonal Care Items
Capitol Region Education Council Foundation, Inc.Grant funds will be used to provide emergency support to students attending CREC schools and their families. Support will include food and clothing expenses, emergency housing, utilities, transportation, and other basic needs. $4,000 Greater HartfordEmergency Financial Assistance
Community Solutions, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase winter coats, boots, gloves, hats and other basic needs for adult male and female residents of 6 residential reentry centers.$20,000 Hartford and surrounding towns (Bloomfield, Windsor)Emergency Clothing Needs
Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, Inc.Grant funds will be used to provide emergency services for 50 non-duplicated foreign-born survivors of human trafficking, unaccompanied minors and their host families, and foreign born survivors of domestic violence residing in Hartford and the surrounding communities.$14,000 Greater HartfordEmergency Financial Assistance
Emanuel Lutheran ChurchGrant funds will be used to purchase culturally appropriate food not normally available from CT Foodshare and other food networks. A portion of the funds will be used to provide emergency assistance for clients of the food pantry.$8,000 Greater HartfordFood or Food Assistance
Futures, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase food for distribution to students with disabilities and their families during school breaks and holidays when the students do not have access to healthy school meals. The beneficiaries of this program will be 18 students from Futures School along with their families who reside in Hartford.$5,000 HartfordFood or Food Assistance
Granby Congregational Church, UCCGrant funds will be used to purchase food for distribution clients of the Open Cupboard food pantry. $7,500 Northern Region (East Granby, Granby, Simsbury, Windsor)Food or Food Assistance
Hartford Neighborhood CentersGrant funds will be used to purchase foods for food pantry located on Lawrence Street.$15,000 Greater HartfordFood or Food Assistance
Hebron Interfaith Human Services, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase personal care items for clients of the food pantry serving Hebron and surrounding towns.$7,500 Hebron Personal Care Items
Hockanum Valley Community Council, Inc.Grant funds will be used for case management services and the provision of basic human needs services. Case management consists of one on one meetings with clients either in person or virtually to assess needs, create and implement plans of action, and refer clients to services. Services provided include housing, benefits, and employment assistance. $15,000 East of the RiverEmergency and/or Informal Case Management Services
Integrated Refugee & Immigrant ServicesGrant funds will be used to meet the emergency needs of recently arrived refugees resettling in the Hartford area. $15,000 Hartford and immedate surrounding towns (East Hartford, Glastonbury, Windsor)Emergency Financial Assistance
Manchester Area Conference of Churches, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase food and supplies to support daily food program.$15,000 ManchesterFood or Food Assistance
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion ChurchGrant funds will be used to support community members who have received eviction judgements and are within the 5 day window. Funds will be used primarily to pay past due housing or utility bills, the expenses most closely associated with the reasons why people get evicted. Additional support could include assistance with food, clothing, personal care items, and other basic needs.$5,000 HartfordEmergency Financial Assistance
Our Savior Lutheran ChurchGrant funds will be used to purchase food, personal care items, and other basic needs.$7,000 East of the River (South Windsor, East hartford)Food or Food Assistance
Shiloh Baptist ChurchGrant funds will be used to support the operations of a food pantry located at 350 Albany Avenue. $8,000 Hartford and surrounding towns (Bloomfield, Windsor)Food or Food Assistance
The Cornerstone Foundation, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase food for the Community Kitchen and food pantry, basic needs for shelter clients such as assistance with medical coverage or medicine, emergency aid for area residents, and other basic needs. $15,000 East of the River (Manchester, Vernon, East hartford)Food or Food Assistance
The New Antioch Baptist Church, Inc.Grant funds will be used to purchase food and supplies for a community breakfast program.$8,000 Hartford and surrounding towns (Bloomfield, Windsor, East Hartford, West Hartford)Food or Food Assistance
The Underground NEGrant funds will be used to provide emergency aid to adult trafficking survivors. Emergency aid could include emergency medical treatment, legal support, provision of safe shelter, food, clothing, personal care items, and other basic needs. $15,000 Greater HartfordAftercare programs for victims of domestic violence
Town of East HartfordGrant will would be used to purchase food, pantry supplies, personal care items needed by the four food pantries that are part of the East Hartford Combined Church Emergency Food Banks. $16,000 East of the River (South Windsor, East Hartford)Food or Food Assistance

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.