United Way of the National Capital Area Responds To Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak And Activates Emergency Assistance Fund

WASHINGTON, DC (March 16, 2020)—In response to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) today announced the activation of its Emergency Assistance Fund, making available an initial $50,000, to promote the health, education and financial stability of our community, especially those residents who have or will be impacted by restrictions and closures of schools, businesses, and community institutions designed to slow the spread of the virus. Pepco was first to respond with a $100,000 investment and are being joined by M&T Bank who has also committed resources.

“As businesses and agencies across the region undergo temporary closures and other restrictions, much of the region’s workforce will experience severe reduction in income that they desperately rely on to live,” said Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area. “These emergency resources will enable our nonprofit partners to meet the increased demand for economic assistance and access to food and other basic necessities. By first increasing capacity to these non-profit organizations, we want residents to know their United Way stands by them through this crisis.”

United Way NCA is calling on the community—both corporate partners and individuals in the region—to join them in fighting for the health, education and financial stability of our community, including those impacted by COVID-19, by matching its investment or making a donation.

“At Pepco, our priority is to support every customer to make ends meet during tough times and we are proud to be the first to contribute to the Emergency Assistance Fund to do just that,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings. “In addition to our own programs, we work day-in and day-out with community and government partners to get funding into the hands of those customers who need it most. This fund and partnership between the United Way NCA is a great example of coming together to support the residents and customers that make our communities thrive.”

In the weeks and months ahead, the Emergency Assistance Fund will provide additional capacity to community-based organizations in the region to deliver economic assistance and access to vital food and basic need supplies to the thousands of school-age children who depend on their school’s meal programs and workers in the region who already have and will be impacted by the temporary loss of income. United Way NCA’s Emergency Assistance Fund may also be deployed to strengthen the region’s ability to prepare for and respond to a variety of health and other emergencies, as well as to support programs and initiatives that are focused on fighting for the health, education and financial stability of our community.

Initially, United Way NCA’s Emergency Assistance Fund will be directed as follows:

  • Martha’s Table to support food distribution throughout the DMV and 350 families around wage assistance and food insecurity.
  • Northern Virginia Family Service to support their Hunger Resource Center’s food distribution. They are expanding their services to target over 500 school-aged children and their families in their catchment area.
  • Community Service Agency to support affected union workers and their families through emergency wage assistance.  
  • Capital Area Food Bank to support their food distribution through pop-up markets in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
  • Arlington Food Assistance Center to support individuals and families with their food and nutrition needs through distribution of pre-bagged groceries.
  • Manna Food Center to meet the nutrition needs of MCPS students and families impacted by school closures and food distribution and delivery to those in need throughout Montgomery County.

“We are grateful for the support from United Way NCA,” said Kim R. Ford, president & CEO, Martha’s Table. “As always, we remain deeply committed to putting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our children, team, and community first. It is exactly in times like these that our city needs leaders like Martha’s Table to stand up and do what is right to support our neighbors, and we are proud to stand alongside United Way NCA and our community in this effort.”

United Way NCA is also partnering with Gepetto Catering to help identify individuals in need, from older citizens who aren’t able to cook and grocery shop to employees who are suddenly out of work, to receive high quality and nutritious meals through its newly launched “Send a Meal” program.

“We are uniquely positioned to convene resources and partners to help during this time of need,” said Allen-Herring. “We will continue to partner and coordinate with the funding community such as the Greater Washington Community Foundation and others to provide support. We are calling on the public to join us in caring for our neighbors in need and to donate to the Emergency Assistance Fund.”

For more information about United Way NCA Emergency Assistance Fund, visit www.UnitedWayNCA.org/help.

About United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the National Capital Area fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for more than 45 years. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.