Woonsocket nonprofit wins $50,000 emergency grant to help keep people warm and fed this winter


WOONSOCKET, RI -- Hundreds of local families will be healthier in the new year thanks to more than $50,000 in emergency grants for help with food, housing and heating costs from the Rhode Island Foundation.


Connecting for Children & Families will use its grant to help residents of northern Rhode Island with rental and utility assistance, food and gift cards for fuel and medical supplies.


"Our community is in crisis, so these funds are critical. The rising costs of goods and services have made it difficult for families to pay for basic necessities, such as food, rent and utilities," said Erin Spaulding, executive director.


The organization helps thousands of children and families each year, providing educational programs, social services and family support. The amount of emergency assistance the organization provides to families has increased more than five times since 2020.


"We believe that no family should have to go without having their most basic needs met. These funds will allow us to help hundreds of families get what they need this winter. We know that when families succeed, the whole community succeeds," said Spaulding.


The grant to Connecting for Children and Families is one of three totaling nearly $160,000 statewide. The WARM Shelter and the Salvation Army also received at least $50,000 each to help people with basic necessities such as food, housing and heating bills.


"Nonprofits are dealing with record demand due to the soaring cost of everyday expenses. As inflation squeezes already tight budgets, we turned to nonprofit partners with experience distributing emergency assistance to people in crisis across broad geographic areas," said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation's president and CEO.


The WARM Shelter will distribute its funding through a network of South County nonprofits such as the Jonnycake Center of Westerly, the Jonnycake Center for Hope in South Kingstown, Tri-County Community Action Agency and Wood River Health as well as via referrals from area churches. The organization expects more than 300 households to receive help this winter.


"This award will help us assist those in the community who are struggling with heating needs, food and housing to be able to say in their homes. The funding couldn't have come at a better time. We're getting calls off the hook. l I was beginning to worry how we would continue to get people through their tough times. It is one way we are all working to prevent homelessness," said Russ Partridge, executive director.


The Salvation Army will use its grant to provide rent, utilities, food and other assistance to people in need. The organization expects to help more than 500 households in the Providence and Newport areas.


"The cries for help are on the rise and resources for safety-net type services have been at a premium, so this grant will make a huge difference in our ability to meet the needs of more hurting families and individuals,"

said Major Carol Duperree, acting director of social services.


The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org<https://rifoundation.org/>.