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Helping during challenging times | Lewiston Sun Journal

How United Way has impacted the community through the Very Basics Fund. Submitted photo

REGION — The United Way of the Tri-Valley Area and our partners are working hard to respond to meet the short and long term needs of individuals and families. The last six months have been focused on helping those that have been impacted by COVID-19. 26 programs received support.

Unpaid absence; illness; job loss related directly or indirectly to the virus; increased childcare needs due to school and childcare closures; and the potential risk of not being able to pay housing, utility and food bills due to financial strains are a reality.

Organizations that serve populations in need every day are finding themselves under-resourced to serve a growing demand for those services. As we rise above the challenges heightened because of the pandemic, we are looking to help with the ongoing basic needs of Greater Franklin County residents.

United Way is seeking applications to its Very Basics Fund. Applications are due October 31. The next opportunity for applications will be in April 2021.

We encourage non-profits, including schools, municipalities, and faith-based organizations to apply. Visit for more information and application.

What has United Way supported so far through this fund? — SeniorsPlus – Meals on Wheels; Farmington Area Ecumenical Ministry – Heating assistance; Phillips Area Food Pantry – Food; RSU 9 – Volunteer incentives for those who are delivering food to students and coolers to keep food safe; Tri-Town Ministerial Association Food Cupboard – Food; Community Concepts Incorporated- Transportation costs for food delivery to Head Start families and supplies; Franklin County Children’s Task Force – Food boxes for Greater Franklin County families during April school vacation; Greater Franklin Development Council – Food for Kingfield Elementary School families during April school vacation; Rangeley Lakes Regional School Student Assistance Program – Food and other needed supplies for families; University of Maine Farmington – Commitment to clean and professionally sanitize rooms if used by first responders to social distance from families as part of an agreement with Maine Emergency Management; Catholic Charities – Personal Protective Equipment and supplies for seniors participating in the SEARCH program and mileage reimbursement for volunteers delivering supplies; Partners for Children’s Oral Health – Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and educational material distribution via school lunch program delivery to promote good oral hygiene when access to oral health care is limited; Rural Community Action Ministry – Food and supplies for Essentials Box serving Livermore, Livermore Falls and Jay, and mileage reimbursement for expanded food and supplies delivery service; Franklin County Children’s Task Force – Second request, additional support for food boxes for families; Community Concepts Incorporated – Second request, diapers, wipes, pull-ups; Stratton-Eustis Lions Club – Food for Snack Pack program; The Children’s Advocacy Center – A program of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services – HIPAA-compliant ZOOM membership to allow for continuity of services; additional technology and sanitizing products; Children’s Center – Sanitizing products to safely resume providing services to young children with disabilities; Mission at the Eastward – materials and supplies for home rehab program and sanitizing products; Old South Congregational Church – Youth Group – Food and food packaging for Tuesday Night Supper Club, a weekly free dinner program for the community; Literacy Volunteers – books, postage, training and administrative costs for pivoting to a virtual instructional environment; Maine Mountain Children’s House – PPE and supplies to safely open this non-profit childcare facility in northern Franklin County; Western Maine Homeless Outreach – Emergency housing support; first month’s security deposits and homeless navigation services; Kennebec Behavioral Health – Assistance with co-pays and other mental health service payments.

For more information about the United Way and any up-coming events or initiatives, visit or visit United Way on Facebook at Be sure to like United Way on Facebook and follow on Instagram to be kept up-to-speed on programs and initiatives!

How United Way has impacted the community through the Very Basics Fund.

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