Basic Needs Fund Distributes $100,000

Nine organizations were selected for the Fund's inaugural round of grantmaking.

New Haven, Conn. (June 21, 2021) During a time of increased food insecurity, the newly established Basic Needs Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven has granted $100,000 for the distribution of meals, groceries and personal hygiene items to area residents in need. The committee-advised fund made the awards to nine organizations located in New Haven and surrounding towns.

Howard, a former cook at Community Soup Kitchen, serving meals outside Christ Church, New Haven. Contributed photo.

For the Community Soup Kitchen, the grant helps support a significant expansion. The nonprofit has served 82,000 meals in the past five months from its primary location at New Haven's Christ Church and satellite at the Keefe Community Center in Hamden, according to Executive Director Joshua Lamarr Watkins.

"The guests we are serving are not necessarily homeless. Many have jobs. We serve everybody and everyone, and we’ve stepped forward to go beyond serving one meal. People can have as many meals as they want," said Watkins.

In addition to serving more meals, Watkins added, Community Soup Kitchen has also expanded its network of grocery store partners to donate fresh produce and meat.

The Basic Needs Fund was established in April 2020 to support the basic needs of all people in Greater New Haven and is governed by an advisory committee that works collaboratively to award grants on a responsive basis based on unfunded needs in the community.

The initial round of funding targeted food insecurity, and made awards to organizations that did not receive full funding from the Greater New Haven COVID-19 Community Fund.

    Basic Needs Fund Grant Awards




    Abba's House Int'l Fellowship

    Food delivery, diapers and healthy food/snacks for learning hub students.


    Community Soup Kitchen

    Food and take-out supplies


    Faith Inspired Servants Helping Others Reach Services

    Food provision


    Guns Down Books Up

    Food distribution to New Haven residents in need


    Mount Zion SDA

    Food provision for Hamden residents


    New Opportunities, Inc.

    Meals for homebound Cheshire residents who are on the Meals on Wheels waiting list


    Nutrition Security Solutions, Inc.

    Food delivery to elderly and mobility impaired residents in Greater New Haven.


    Omega Seventh-day Adventist Church

    Distribution of food and hygiene products.


    The Towers Foundation

    Meals for low-income elderly residents.


    Note: an additional $60,000 was awarded to FISH of Greater New Haven after the grants listed above, bringing the initial distribution total from the Fund to $160,000.