top of page

Cape and Islands United Way responds to community needs during pandemic

Updated: May 20, 2021


Since early April, the Cape and Islands United Way’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund has distributed grants to 23 local nonprofits.

The Community Response Fund came to fruition at a most critical time. While the United Way grants process would usually take months to complete, the quick response from the community has made it possible for our local United Way to support local nonprofits serving Cape Cod’s most basic human needs (food, housing and emergency services). The CIUW has been collaborating with the Cape Cod Foundation and the Cape Crisis Relief Fund to work in partnership on meeting needs in the community. The three groups having been meeting virtually since the start of the pandemic to share insights, knowledge and work cooperatively on solutions, both short and long-term that arise from this pandemic.

To date, with your support, the CIUW has invested more than $100,000 from this fund to address needs related to the pandemic. The organizations support food security, homeless individuals, veterans, child care providers and more.

It is been so impactful to be able to provide these emergency funds in real time, said Mark Skala, CIUW President/CEO. We have a very simply process and work collaboratively with many groups to make sure we are meeting the diverse needs at this time.

Funded organizations include:

  • Alzheimer’s Family Support Center, to provide access to services that help reduce social isolation for the caregivers of individuals with dementia

  • Boys and Girls Club of Cape Cod, for supplies needed for camp

  • Calmer Choice, to ensure access to programming through a hybrid model of in-person and virtual sessions

  • Cape Cod Council of Churches, to sustain daily operations of programs - A Baby Center (providing essentials such as diapers, wipes, and formula for families in need), and Faith Family Kitchen (serving hot, nutritious meals to our food-insecure neighbors three evenings a week in Hyannis)

  • Cape Cod Military Support Foundation, to supply meal kits to Cape and Islands-based veterans distributed across the Cape and Islands

  • Cape Kids Meals, to continue providing weekend meals to 500 students that currently utilize free breakfast and lunch services at their schools

  • CapeAbilities, to cover increased expenses related to residential services for 160 clients, including the need for more PPE, food, increase in staff wages, and access to technology

  • Catholic Social Services, for continued food delivery and household stipends for eight individuals with a disability living in permanent supportive housing

  • CHAMP Homes, to continue housing and providing food to 22 quarantined individuals

  • Duffy Health Center, to provide daily meals for 15 homeless individuals for the duration of the quarantine – additional funds are being used for outreach and safety measures to protect the staff

  • Falmouth Service Center, to purchase fresh food and offer financial assistance to Falmouth residents

  • First Baptist Church of Hyannis, to continue their food pantry by offering fresh and non-perishable foods, adding an additional refrigerator, and offsetting the cost of transportation needed to access the Greater Boston Food Bank

  • Food4Kids, to fund a summer food program for children in the lower and outer Cape

  • Health Imperatives, to cover increased staff expenses related to enrolling new families into WIC and offering outreach to families who are newly eligible

  • Housing Assistance Corporation, to cover costs associated with COVID-19 cleaning, safety precautions, staff overtime, additional PPE, food delivery, and stipends for staff at HAC’s four shelters

  • Island Food Pantry, to cover costs associated with an increase in home delivery of food

  • Island Grown Initiative, to provide access to fresh, high quality foods to islanders in need, as well as cover some of the expenses related to the increased demand which will necessitate changes in food processing, delivery, and tracking capabilities

  • Lower Cape Outreach, to gather food for eight drive-through food pantries and additional home deliveries of food

  • Nantucket Interfaith Council, to provide food delivery services and respond to the increased demand for rental assistance

  • WE CAN, to continue providing access to free and confidential services to vulnerable women, especially those in high demand during the COVID-19 crisis

  • YMCA Cape Cod, to provide free childcare to approximately 160 children of essential employees, between the ages of 13 weeks and 12 years

The impact of the Community Response Fund has connected the community in an inspiring and empowering way.

“Your support is helping us make valuable connections with socially isolated seniors and caregivers. I can’t tell you what it means to us to have you in our corner,” said Melanie Braverman, co-founder of the Alzheimer’s Family Support Center.

The fund has received generous grants from Rockland Trust, the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Foundation, private foundations and hundreds of individual donors.

The Cape and Islands United Way continues raising money for the Community Response Fund, as the needs of the community are expected to continue in the months ahead. To make a donation or apply for for funds, please visit:


How you can help

Together we are making an impact on the Cape and Islands to mitigate the fallout from this worldwide pandemic. Your contribution to the Community Response Fund is allowing us to work with our collaborators to address critical issues. It is so heartening in these times of crisis to see our community rise up and Live United. Together we can make a powerful difference.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page