Learn how our Community Response Fund is fighting the impacts of COVID-19.

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Local Love in a Global Crisis Community Response: One Year Later

United Way Centraide North East Ontario - Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The world has certainly changed during this past year. Last March, we asked for your support as UWCNEO launched the Community Response Fund, a targeted effort to support the immediate basic needs (food, shelter, and hygiene products), helping our most vulnerable neighbours impacted by COIVD-19. We are so proud of the work that has been accomplished alongside you, our donors.

Early in the pandemic, we recognized that people relying on social services were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We received calls from people who didn’t know what to do or where they could turn for help. People were losing their jobs, and the stresses of the uncertainty weighed heavily. More than ever before, people needed help.

The Community Response Fund provided timely emergency grants to organizations providing frontline services to our communities’ most vulnerable citizens. Together, we’ve helped thousands of people access food through hot-food and grocery delivery programs and emergency food cards. Freezers and other equipment were purchased so food could be prepared in bulk, frozen, and delivered to those in need. We helped stock the shelves of local food banks and social service agencies and helped with simple supplies like take-out containers and bags so our partners could focus on adapting their services. Food was transported from one community to another, often hours away, and hygiene products that people couldn’t afford to buy were available at no cost.

Our Community Response Fund also supported the purchase of thousands of reusable masks to distribute to local schools so that kids whose families could not afford a mask could receive one that looked like the others. Throughout the region, frontline agencies received masks to distribute to their clients in need, many of whom were seniors who were afraid to leave their homes.

Because of you, our communities are stronger. Thank you!

Stay well and stay safe.

Mary Lou Hussak
Executive Director, UWCNEO


For decades, UWCNEO has been committed to making our community a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. In addition to research and advocacy, we invest in the most effective local programs in the areas of poverty, community and kids.