Impact AreaBasic NeedsFood, Clothing, Shelter

children in Greater Hartford lack the food needed to learn and grow.

1 in 7

residents in Hartford County live in a food insecure household.

2 in 5

people who are food insecure have household incomes too high to qualify for many nutrition assistance programs.

We believe that every one of us is a child of God, made in the image of God – and as such, deserves the dignity and grace of having their most basic needs met. We partner with churches and organizations to strengthen their basic needs programs by equipping them to foster a culture that affirms the dignity and potential of each person, connect people to support in the community, and implement programming that helps people further develop life skills to address their needs.

What Guides Us

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me …
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25: 35-36a, 40b 

There are dozens of ways to engage with the challenges that come with meeting basic needs. Below are some of the key principles that drive our work and that we seek to pass on to our our partners.

More Than Food

Using the More than Food Framework, Urban Alliance equips basic needs ministries to meet crisis needs in a dignified and respectful way

Creating a Welcoming Environment and Dignified Experience

Remembering that those we serve are made in God’s image changes the way we serve.

Warm Referrals to Community Programs

We are #bettertogether! Sometimes, the best way we can help someone is to connect them with someone who is better equipped than we are.

Impacting the Charitable Food System

Working with regional and national organizations to address root causes and common problems to realize lasting change.

How We Make an Impact

We provide churches and organizations in our network with peer groups, training, toolkits, consultation, grants, supplies and volunteers to build stronger food pantries, community meal sites, clothing banks, transitional living facilities, sober houses and other basic needs programs.

Free Grocery Distributions

Partnering with organizations like Midwest Food Bank, Urban Alliance helps UA Network Partners host free grocery distribution events in their communities by providing publicity materials, coordinating food deliveries, providing volunteers, and scheduling events.

Farmers Market Coupons

As part of our Annual Community Outreach Day, Urban Alliance volunteers distribute over 10,000 resource bags to neighbors in Hartford. One of the things included in those bags is a coupon to a local Farmers Market, providing fresh produce and highlighting healthy food options.

Essential Supplies Program

Our on-site Distribution Center, in partnership with World Vision, connects critical resources like personal hygiene items, socks and undergarments, childcare items (diapers, formula), and more with programs that put them to good use.

Training & Equipping

Basic Needs programs may focus on one particular need (hunger, for example), but they serve people with complex situations and multiple needs. Urban Alliance shares best practices for those immediate needs, provides training to help direct people to additional resources, equips leaders to deal with relevant issues in mental health, provides communities to share experiences and support, and more.

UAServe Volunteers

Why is it so hard for programs to find volunteers ... or for qualified people to find places to serve? The UAServe program is a way to connect volunteers and programs in the UA Network.

The UA Network in Action

A few of the UA Network Programs adressing basic needs:

You Can Help Meet Basic Needs

Invest in Your Community

Partnering with Urban Alliance means not just helping your neighbor receive the food, clothing, and shelter that all of us need – you can be sure that those neighbors are also being treated with dignity, that they are receiving holistic care from well equipped and resourced programs, and that the root causes of poverty and hunger are being addressed.

Volunteer with UAServe

Helping to meet our neighbors’ needs is a powerful way to express God’s love to the individuals in our communities.

If you have a heart for those in need and the time to invest in making a difference, UAServe can help connect you with a program that needs your help!