Connecticut Foodshare State-wide Mobile Pantry Locator
Connecticut Foodshare’s texting tool is now available state-wide. Simply text FOODSHARE to 85511 to opt-in. Users will be prompted to answer a few simple questions and then will be given information on location, date, time, and frequency of Connecticut Foodshare Mobile Pantry distributions nearby.
Discount Prescription Cards for Connecticut Residents
Starting Monday, October 2, 2023, all Connecticut residents can sign-up for a prescription discount card at ArrayRxCard.com. Connecticut is the fourth state, in addition to Washington, Oregon, and Nevada, to offer this program. Residents can sign-up regardless of age or income and can expect to save an average 20% on brand-name prescription and 80% on generic drugs. ArrayRx Discount Card is a digital program and requires an email address to enroll. You can print the card to show the pharmacy or show it on your smartphone. Click here for answers to FAQs.
ArrayRx is aimed at three groups: people on high-deductible health plans, people who are uninsured, and people on Medicare whose prescriptions are not covered. ArrayRx can not be used with insurance, rather it may offer lower prices than insurance provides. Spanish enrollment form available here. For other languages call 800-913-4146.
*NEW* Free Covid Tests
The federal government is providing another round of free COVID-19 tests. Each residential address can order a set of 4 tests. Orders will be accepted starting September 25, 2023. Use this link to order your free tests. If you have at home tests that have past their expiration dates, do not throw them out yet! Some tests have an updated expiration date: check here.
Prosperi-key: Save on Everyday Essentials
Prosperi-key is a Groupon-like project developed by United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut that can help folks save on everyday essentials and gather financial, healthful eating, and childcare resources. Prosperi-Key, is a one stop, online shop that allows users to access deals, discounts, resources, and more to help make life more affordable. Individuals register for an account at prosperikey.org and go through a brief income verification process. Once users are income-qualified, they become Key Members and can access services from nonprofits and businesses that are local to them. It is the only platform to income-qualify users in the ALICE income bracket, all through a friendly, confidential, and fast process. For more information, visit www.prosperikey.org.
Income-Driven Student Loan Repayment Plan
The Biden-Harris Administration announced the official launch of the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan– the most affordable repayment plan ever created. According to the administration, “the SAVE plan is an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan that calculates payments based on a borrower’s income and family size – not their loan balance – and forgives remaining balances after a certain number of years. The SAVE plan will cut many borrowers’ monthly payments to zero, will save other borrowers around $1,000 per year, will prevent balances from growing because of unpaid interest, and will get more borrowers closer to forgiveness faster.” Learn more and apply here.
Depending on your repayment goals and income, this may not be the best loan repayment program for you. Check out the loan simulator tool on the Federal Student Aid website to compare repayment options and choose the best one for you.
UConn Cook and Chat: Free Virtual Cooking Classes
If you are looking for healthy recipe inspiration or want to be more organized in the kitchen, sign-up for UConn’s virtual Cook and Chat series! This program is free for neighbors experiencing food insecurity. View the English flyer here and the Spanish flyer here.
UConn’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) hosts a virtual cooking course in English and Spanish each Fall and Spring. In Fall 2023, the 12-part class will take place every Wednesday evening starting on September 20 (excluding November 22) and ending on December 13. It will cover topics such as kitchen organization, prioritizing healthy choices, meal prep basics, and creating menus to save money. Participants can earn kitchen supplies like a slow cooker, family toolbox, kitchen organizer, and/or immersion blender by attending a certain amount of classes. If you have any questions reach out to Heather Pease at email@example.com or Angela Caldera at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register here.
Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program
The Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program is a free job training resource to Connecticut residents who have a mortgage that is 60 or more days past due for their primary residence. The program aims to enhance job skills by improving earning potential and providing the ability to sustain a mortgage with affordable monthly payments. To be eligible, participants must be a homeowner, 60 days or more past due on a mortgage for their primary residence in Connecticut, demonstrate an imminent need for program services, and be unemployed, underemployed or in need of a second job. This program is part of the American Job Center Network (AJC), a collaboration of local, regional, and state organizations that trains workers, regardless of employment status, and assists businesses in finding talent. Click to view flyers in English and Spanish. Click here to learn more and apply.
The program offers virtual services to:
The State of Connecticut has launched a new job training program, Career ConneCT. This no cost program offers 4 to 24 week training programs for recognized industry credentials in fields including: manufacturing, health care, life sciences, information technology, financial services, business services, and clean energy.
The program is tailored to support participants by providing services for their family during training, such as childcare, transportation, food, housing, technology, benefits counseling, stipends, and more. Eligible participants will also receive case management and job placement support.
Employers have committed to hiring trainees for 6,000 positions. Trainings are offered on a rolling basis online and in person, as well as during the day and at night.
To be eligible for this program trainees must be authorized to work in the United States and be either unemployed or underemployed. If you are unemployed or have questions about what it means to be underemployed, you are encouraged to create an account in the portal and speak to a case manager or contact Career ConneCT. The program is flexible and can help you determine if you qualify. If you reside in a neighboring state like Massachusetts or New York and would like to work in Connecticut, you may be eligible as well.
Utility Moratorium Extended to October 31, 2023
211 electric and gas utility shut off update:
Eligible households (financial hardship) are protected against heat AND non-heat source shut offs between 11/1/2022 and 5/1/2024. The program that usually runs each year between 11/1 and 5/1, yet has been extended to include the period between 5/1/2023 and 11/1/2023. This protection is guaranteed for all eligible electric customers by Connecticut Statute and cannot be denied, regardless of shut offs, nonpayment, or any other reason. There is no minimum amount that must be paid before a household will be turned back on at the beginning of the moratorium period.
Utility customers with an income of 60% of the state median income are eligible.
The Winter Protection Program will then be in place from November 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. Therefore, eligible households are protected from utility shut offs until May 1, 2024.
Click here to download the flyer.
Call our SNAP Outreach Team to set an appointment to apply for SNAP benefits. We can take your application over the phone in about 30 minutes. Call 860-856-HELP (4357) or click HERE for more details. This federally funded program can provide a way to help pay for food at your local grocer and online using a debit type card.
Access Health CT
Apply for health insurance coverage by contacting Access Health CT at 855-805-4325 or visiting them at accesshealthct.com. Access Health CT is the official health insurance marketplace of Connecticut, where you can shop, compare, and enroll in quality health and dental plans. It is also the only place where you can qualify for financial help to lower your costs, and if eligible, enroll in no- or low-cost coverage through HUSKY Health Programs (Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)) or the Covered Connecticut Program.
HUSKY Health Renewals
HUSKY Health renewals are coming soon! Read the message from the Department of Social Services:
A federal rule allowed DSS to continue HUSKY Health insurance for most individuals during the pandemic. This rule will change in March 2023, and DSS will resume the regular HUSKY Health eligibility process by giving all HUSKY Health members a chance to renew their coverage. Renewals will be spread over a 12-month period, so make sure to renew when notified. When it is time to renew, HUSKY Health members will receive a notice that:
HUSKY Health members will receive a renewal notice about 45 days before coverage is due to close. It is important to reply promptly to any mail from DSS or Access Health CT. Updated contact information can be provided online or by phone: ct.gov/UpdateUsDSS, Access Health CT: 855-805-4325, or DSS:855-626-6632.
Connecticut Paid Leave Program
Connecticut Paid Leave (CTPL) provides eligible Connecticut workers the opportunity to take time to attend to personal and family health needs without worrying about lost income. For employers, CTPL provides the tools and resources to promote a healthy, vibrant and inclusive workplace.
Workers can take paid leave to address:
Learn more about CT Paid Leave by visiting ctpaidleave.org.
Receive Financial Support if You Care for a Loved One at Home
If you care for a loved one at home, you may be eligible to receive tax-free compensation. The Adult Family Living Program (AFL), which falls under the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, pays friends and relatives to care for their loved ones at home and is available at no cost to those on Medicaid/State Insurance. Spouses are not eligible caregivers.
AFL aims to bring care into the homes of elderly individuals as opposed to moving to assisted living facilities. Benefits are provided for the care giver and for individuals in need of care. Care givers receive training, oversight, and support from an intermediary agency as well as tax-free compensation, up to $500 a week, based on level of care needed. Agencies deduct a co-pay for their support. In addition to being cared for by someone they are comfortable with, care recipients receive assistance with day-to-day activities, meal preparation, personal care, dressing, mobility, transportation, and more.
Eligibility requires that the applicant is age 65 or older, a Connecticut resident, and meets the financial and functional needs for care.
Accredited home care agencies administer AFL. Individuals can apply to this program through their local home care agency. Search “Adult Family Living” and your location on 2-1-1 to find an agency near you.
Free Health Support for New Families (Healthy Start)
Family Wellness Healthy Start is a free program that supports women before, during, and after pregnancy and aims to eliminate disparities in maternal health. Healthy Start Care Coordinators provide access to health and social services, such as:
Healthy Care Coordinators are also there before, during, and after pregnancy:
Fathers and/or partners can be enrolled in the Fatherhood initiative to take part in the family planning, reproductive education, and parenting support services.
The Healthy Start program has two names, which may cause confusion. To clarify, Family Wellness Healthy Start is the name of the specific program serving Hartford and New Britain which addresses increased disparities in the region. Other Healthy Start programs provide the same services and are available across the state.
Click here for a bilingual program flyer.
Click here to visit the 211 listing for Healthy Start and how to find providers.
Internet Service and Device Discounts
Receive discounts on Internet service and devices through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). You may be eligible if your income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or if you participate in government assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, or other programs (such as Lifeline). Go to acpbenefit.org for more eligibility and benefits information and to enroll. Click here for a flyer.
Qualifying households can take advantage of the Eviction Prevention Program. Click here to view more information about the program.
Tenants who are in the process of being evicted may qualify for up to $5,000 in a one-time rental assistance payment to cover their rental debts. The tenant can call (1-844-864-8328) to schedule an appointment at the UniteCT Resource Center for help filling out the application. If approved, the check will be mailed directly to the landlord. Tenants may not complete an application on their own without the assistance of a Resource Center staff.
Need help paying for winter heat?
Go to ct.gov/heatinghelp to learn about and apply to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Visit ct.gov/heatinghelp/why-heating-help to learn about other heating help programs. OperationFuel.org also has information on seasonal help paying for heat.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
FEMA is helping to cover the cost of COVID-19 funeral expenses up to $9,000. You must apply with the assistance of FEMA representative by calling844-684-6333 toll-free between 9:00am and 9:00pm.
Eligibility requirements according to FEMA:
Prescription Discount Card
For information on receiving prescription discount card call 800-222-2818 or visit familywize.org.
Free Community College
If you graduated from a Connecticut High school (GED or home schooled also) and are a first-time, full-time college student, you may qualify for Free Community College in Connecticut. Visit ct.edu/pact to learn more.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. To learn more about the PSLF Program and to see if you qualify. Go to studentaid.gov/ for more information.
Contact an American Job Center for services such as job search assistance, resume writing advice and workshops at portal.ct.gov/ajc ,or find out how to file for unemployment benefits at portal.ct.gov/DOLUI . For more information call CTDOL at the Consumer Contact Center at 860-967-0493, 203-941-6868, or Toll-Free 800-956-3294 from 8:00am to 5:00pm Mon-Fri and 8:00am to 3:00pm Sat (excluding holidays).
For information on community services, such as locations of local food pantries, Mobile Connecticut Foodshare trucks, emergency housing, rent or mortgage payment assistance, how to apply for energy assistance, and how to get help with mental health or substance issues, contact INFOLINE by dialing 211 or go to 211ct.org.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
If you have children under 5 years old, or you are expecting, find your local WIC office online at portal.ct.gov/DPH/WIC/WIC or at 211ct.org. The program provides advice from nutritionists, and an EBT card to help buy healthy foods for expecting women, your child, and breastfeeding mothers. You can also call 211 for more information.
USDA Nutrition Materials
Visit snaped.fns.usda.gov to find information seasonal produce guides, food safety, healthy thrifty holiday menus, nutrition education materials, meal prepping, recipes, and more.
If you need legal assistance for civil issues, you can call toll free to the Statewide Legal Services of CT, Inc. office to seek free legal help. Client Hotline: 800-453-3320 or visit slsct.org.
Free income tax return preparation
To locate a free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax clinic, and meet with an IRS-certified volunteer, call 800-906-9887 for a location near you. Or use United Way’s free or reduced-fee tax preparation website: MyFreeTaxes.com
Free Smoke Alarms
You can receive free smoke alarms from the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. Call 1-877-287-3327 or visit redcross.org/ct/schedule-a-visit to schedule an in-home visit.
Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
Long-Term Help (Connecticut Housing Finance Authority) Visit chfa.org/homeowners/emergency-mortgage-assistance-program for guidelines and processes or call 860-571-3500 or toll-free at (877) 571-CHFA.
Learn about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs
Read the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) most recent alerts or browse scams by topic. consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
Visit the Department of Housing website to learn about the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and other housing assistance programs. Use this site cthcvp.org/ to access current availability or to be notified when waiting lists reopen.
Mental Health Addiction Services
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) offers several resources including help finding local programs, gambling support, mental health services bed availability, and addiction services bed availability.
Recipes with Pantry Ingredients
The Branford Rotary Club has created a recipe book of 30-minute meals using Branford Food Pantry ingredients. Click here to view the online version of “What’s for Dinner?”. Read more about how the cookbook was created, here.
HUSKY health coverage for children has expanded to include non-citizen children 0-12 years old. To apply, call Access Health CT at 1‐855‐805‐4325.Uninsured children ages 0-12 with household income between 0-323% of the Federal Poverty Level and no qualifying immigration status will now be covered under State HUSKY A and State HUSKY B for Children. This program covers children who do not qualify for regular HUSKY A Medicaid or HUSKY B CHIP coverage.
No Cost Health Screenings
The Connecticut Early Detection and Prevention Program is available at no cost to those with low or no income or those who are un-insured or under-insured. See more details on services and eligibility criteria here.
Care 4 Kids
Care 4 Kids has temporarily expanded child care assistance to families with income up to 60% of the state median income. Previously the limit was 50% of the state median income. Care 4 Kids is a program sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Early Education to help moderate to low-income families pay for child care. Click here to view income limits based on family size. Click here to use the eligibility screening tool and apply.
Support Resources for Mental Health, Crime Victims, and Families
Many Connecticut residents struggling with food insecurity may also be victims of crime or in need of temporary financial assistance and case management services. Others may have children who are at risk for mental health issues. The Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) is the premier statewide network of non-profit organizations that work to strengthen families in Connecticut. Through programs they administer, CCFSA is able to help over 100,000 families with support annually. For more information about the programs provided by CCFSA, visit ctfsa.org/ and view the pamphlet here. CCFSA and its member agencies offer the following programs:
The USDA has released a resources page for non-citizens and their families. The page provides information on how non-citizens and their families can access programs like SNAP, WIC, school meals, summer meals, and the child and adult care food program. Use this page to find information on eligibility.
Senior Resources and Programs
For information on programs and resources for seniors such as healthy living workshops, memory care options, and other support services, contact North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA) at 800-994-9422 or visit ncaaact.org
State Department of Aging and Disability Services
For programs and services coordinated with the Connecticut State Department of Aging and Disability Services, call 860-424-5055 or TTY 860-247-0775, or go to portal.ct.gov/AgingandDisability
Online resource for seniors and people with disabilities
Visit My Place CT at myplacect.org/ to find information about resources for in-home care, help with transportation, meals and groceries, or options for independent and assisted living.
Transportation services for people with disabilities
For information contact Connecticut ADA Paratransit Resource Center at 203-365-8522 ext. 2061 or at ctada.com.
Family Support, Employment Vocational, and In-Home Services Waivers
Those on Medicaid can enroll in Home and Community Based (HCBS) waivers through the Department of Developmental Services to increase the level of support they receive. These waivers provide support services such as employment vocational, in-home, and family support for those who live at home or in licensed settings. View this flyer for more information.
Access your Dept. of Social Services (DSS) account anywhere, anytime with MyDSS!
Go to mydss.ct.gov to save a shortcut on your device and to learn more about what you can do with MyDSS.
EBT Management App
Download the Providers app (formerly named Fresh EBT) for your smartphone. You can access up to the minute SNAP Benefit balance and spending history, discount coupons, mobile banking, benefit updates, stores that accept EBT, and you can sign up for a free debit account. Providers Card is a Mastercard debit card that you can use for everyday shopping, bills, savings, online transactions, etc. For more information about the Providers debit card click here. To download the app go to the iPhone App Store or Google Play store.
School Nutrition Programs
As a recipient of SNAP benefits, any children in your household attending grades K-12 automatically qualify for free meals through their school. Contact your child’s school for additional details on this benefit or go to portal.ct.gov/SDE/Nutrition/School-Nutrition-Programs for more information.
Find local stores that accept SNAP
Visit fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-locator and click on “Enter the SNAP Retailer Locator” to search for locations. Many Farmer’s Markets also accept EBT cards, and some will even double your SNAP Benefits. Check with your local Farmer’s Market when you arrive.
Use SNAP for Online Purchases
Visit portal.ct.gov/snap for details on how to use your SNAP EBT card for online food purchases and for the most up to date list of retailers. Retailers now approved for online SNAP purchasing are Geissler’s Supermarkets (geisslers.com/lets-shop-rosie); Amazon (amazon.com/snap-ebt); Walmart (www.walmart.com/cp/snap-online); Sam’s Club (in-club purchases only), ShopRite (shoprite.com/snap); BJ’s Wholesale Club (bjs.com/help/ebt); Stop & Shop (stopandshop.com/pages/snap-ebt-overview); ALDI Stores or Price Chopper are using instacart.com (instacart.com/help and search “SNAP” or “EBT” for details). Customers need a secondary form of payment for non-food items, such as taxes and fees, per federal SNAP guidelines. Find an easy tutorial at healthyfamilyct.cahnr.uconn.edu/snap-online .
Free Cell Phone
You can qualify for a free cell phone. Please contact one of the following carriers for details: SafeLink (800-723-3546); Access Wireless (888-900-5899); Assurance Wireless (888-898-4888); Life Wireless (888-543-3620).
SNAP Employment & Training
CT Pathways is a work program through the Dept. of Social Services (DSS) designed to help SNAP recipients gain skills that will help increase self-sufficiency. If you are receiving SNAP in Connecticut and not receiving money from the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program, you may be eligible to participate in CT Pathways, a skills-based program that provides short- term vocational programs at community colleges and community-based organizations. To get started, please contact any of the CT Pathways providers listed below:
Community College Providers
All of these organizations have agreements with DSS to help eligible SNAP recipients gain the skills they need to find employment in the current job market. All do their own recruiting and will be happy to discuss their programs with Connecticut SNAP recipients. You do not need to live in the town where the services are provided, and you can get started at any location.
|Additional Providers||City||Phone Number|
|CT Center for Arts & Technology||New Haven||203-832-9823|
|Community Culinary School of Northwestern CT||New Milford||860-512-5791|
|Goodwin University||East Hartford||860-727-6936|
|Opportunities Industrialization Center||New London||860-447-1731|