Supporting Families in Meeting Basic Needs

Creating opportunities for better lives often starts by addressing basic needs. United Way strives to support people on their journey to financial independence, often while overcoming the events that can hurtle an individual or family into crisis, such as a job loss, an illness, the breakup of a relationship or an act of violence.

Without a stable and family-sustaining income, people can find themselves falling behind rather than moving forward in creating a good quality of life. People living in financially unstable homes frequently encounter other problems, such as a lack of nutritious food and poor health.

United Way supports:

  • Access to adequate, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods
  • Housing stability
  • Financial literacy
  • Access to prescription drugs
  • Support for recovery from addiction
  • Paths to stability for domestic violence survivors
  • Child abuse and neglect prevention

UWGNB Programs


The Family Resource & Development Center (FRDC) is part of a growing network of 28 Family Resource Centers across the state of Massachusetts. The FRDC supports caregivers with children from birth to 18 with services and resources that promote self- sufficiency, strengthen family bonds, and tighten children’s connections with their community.

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United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Hunger Commission is the only local program that coordinates food distribution to emergency food pantries and kitchens, working with locations throughout Bristol and Plymouth Counties to alleviate hunger in the region.

Annually, the Hunger Commission distributes hundreds of thousands pounds of food – including fresh, locally grown produce – to local programs for those in need. As a leading statewide advocate on hunger.

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Mass 211 is a free, confidential, referral hotline that connects residents to local information on critical health and human services. Mass 211 can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by simply dialing 211 or visiting

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New Bedford Community Connections Coalition (NBCCC) works to  prevent child abuse and neglect, strengthen families, and build healthier communities. NBCCC takes on a leadership role within the City of New Bedford and supports the work of “Patch,” which utilizes a neighborhood-based welfare practice model for families within two identified areas of New Bedford.

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The New Bedford Strengthening Families (NBSF) AmeriCorps Program is a national service program whose members provide service to make people safer, stronger, and healthier to strengthen their communities.

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SingleCare seeks to bring savings to uninsured or underinsured families (and their pets!) throughout the United States, with discounts of up to 80%! All you need to do is obtain your SingleCare card and present it at your pharmacy for instant savings. Free, more durable SingleCare prescription savings cards will be in soon. While the transition from FamilyWize to SingleCare is happening, you can still make use of your FamilyWize card.

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Community Collaborations

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Formally known as the Southeastern MA Food Security Network, the Marion Institute Southcoast Food Policy Council’s mission is to connect, convene, and advocate for local food producers, consumers, and community leaders who seek policy and systems that strengthen our regional food system, improve community health, and eliminate food insecurity.

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The City of New Bedford coordinates a comprehensive response to homelessness using a “Continuum of Care” approach through its Homeless Service Provider Network [HSPN].

The HSPN meets regularly to address the most pressing issues around the complexity of homelessness and works toward ensuring every individual and every family has access to appropriate, sustainable safe, decent and affordable housing