As community members face uncertainty in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund has been launched to support those who have been financially impacted by the outbreak.
The fund was established by several residents, including Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, and in partnership with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Fuller said in a statement.
“With a lack of customers, every organization in our city is forced to look at cutting costs wherever they can, an imperative that is inevitably borne on the backs of hourly workers and those most vulnerable,” Fuller said, calling the pandemic’s effect on Newton “deep and immediate.”
Fuller said that the Centre Street Food Pantry last week saw about 100 families when it distributed prepackaged items — about double the demand of a normal day.
The fund is intended to support Newton residents, those who work in Newton, families with children enrolled in the public schools, and families with children receiving child-care services in Newton, she said. The city’s first responders who incur new expenses, including child care, as a result of the crisis also will be eligible, she said.
All donations will be collected by the United Way and distributed by an established Newton nonprofit organization “with a track record of administering assistance funds,” Fuller said.
Those funds will help pay for rent, food, utilities, Internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, child care, medications, and other basic needs, Fuller said.
“While the Care Fund is focused on basic needs and critical services, we recognize that this crisis is evolving quickly. The priorities of this fund may change as the needs of the Newton community evolve,” Fuller said.
Donations to the Newton COVID-19 Care Fund can be made online at unitedwaymassbay.org/covid-19/newton-covid-19-care-fund.
More information about donating can also be found on the website.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.