By Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

First of two rounds of 2022 Emergency Assistance Grants Awarded to 50 Nonprofits

As part of its ongoing efforts to dismantle structural racism and advance equity in social and economic mobility in Greater Hartford’s Black and Latinx communities, the Hartford Foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 50 nonprofit agencies that provide food and other basic human needs to residents throughout Greater Hartford.

This year, the Foundation established a new approach to its annual Basic Human Needs (BHN) Emergency Assistance grants to create a more open and equitable application process that involves two rounds of grantmaking. In prior years, all emergency assistance grants were awarded only in the fall, but emergency assistance nonprofits provided feedback that having access to funds earlier in the year would help them in planning and meeting community need. The application process for the second round of BHN grants will begin on August 2, 2022. To learn more about this and other grant opportunities, nonprofits can log onto

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 needs 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 issues have a disproportionate impact on people of color.

The Foundation’s overall Basic Human Needs portfolio balances grantmaking that responds to immediate needs of residents as well as nonprofits that support systemic approaches to eliminating food and housing insecurity, poverty and health disparities. Systemic grants include core and project-specific support to multiservice nonprofits and collaborative efforts that establish and strengthen coordinated care networks to address the social and economic drivers of social issues.

Examples of systemic BHN annual grants include the combined homelessness grants focused on diversion and the Connecticut Coordinated Access Networks (CT CANS) that identify opportunities for improved service delivery to prevent and reduce a person’s time experiencing homelessness. The BHN grants are also complemented by the Foundation’s other outcome portfolios, helping to address basic human needs as a means to further education, employment, improve neighborhood quality of life outcomes, engage in fulfilling creative pursuits, and to advocate for other resident needs.

These grants support both regional and local agencies in Greater Hartford. Grants range between $1,000 and $15,000 and are primarily funded through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation as well as the Foundation’s discretionary funding.

Of the 50 grants:

  • Twenty-seven are primarily for food assistance or food access ($216,522)
  • Thirteen are for immediate emergency aid (which might include food, but also include issues such as rental assistance and personal care items) to be provided in a state of crisis ($98,740)
  • Five are for clothing, shoes, and diapers ($30,750)
  • Two are for case management ($26,000)
  • Two are to subsidize clients in need of medical assistance ($16,500)
  • One is for a small capital request directly related to providing services for a vulnerable population ($11,800)

“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 for the most basic of human needs helps individuals and families stabilize themselves on their way toward upward social and economic mobility.”

Forge City Works was awarded $11,522 in grant funds to provide administrative support to operate the SNAP acceptance program at four Hartford-based farmers markets.