Resources Beyond Food

This page lists information about free or reduced cost community resources and services. If you would like to receive our monthly Community Resources newsletter, subscribe here. View past editions of the newsletter here.

Connecticut Foodshare State-wide Mobile Pantry Locator

Connecticut Foodshare’s texting tool is now available state-wide. Simply text FOODSHARE (for English) or COMIDA (for Spanish) 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.

Updates to WIC

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has updated its food package to center around participants, improve nutritional quality, and enhance equitable access to nutritious food. The changes will go into effect on June 17, 2024.

There is a permanent increase in the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables. In fiscal year 2024 the CVB is:

  • $26 for child participants
  • $47 for pregnant and postpartum participants
  • $52 for mostly and fully breastfeeding participants

These values will be adjusted yearly by the USDA to account for inflation.

Updates also reflect 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to:

  • Increase access to whole grains in bread, grains, and breakfast cereal
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in milk and yogurt
  • Increase food choice to reflect dietary guidance and accommodate cultural and individual preferences, including traditional food practices, allergies, and vegetarian/vegan eating patterns

Read more at frac.org/blog/wic-food-packages-2024-update.

IMPORTANT UPDATE (4/3/2024) Internet Service and Device Discounts

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides Internet discounts for millions of families, has been impacted by federal funding issues. ACP stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 7, 2024. The last fully funded month of the program is April 2024. Contact your internet company and ask if they have a lower cost plan and/or a low-income program. Click here for updates from the Federal Communications Commission.

ACP Program description.

Eviction Prevention Fund

Qualifying Connecticut households have access to the Eviction Prevention Fund (EPF), administered by UniteCT through the Department of Housing. Tenants who have a summary process eviction action pending against them may qualify for up to 15 months or $8,500 in a one-time rental assistance payment to cover their rental arrears. Tenants must complete an application with the assistance of Resource Center staff. Contact the UniteCT Call Center to schedule an appointment for assistance (1-844-864-8328).

If the tenant received previous rental assistance through the UniteCT program, the tenant’s maximum assistance will carry through to the Eviction Prevention Fund. Thus, between the two programs the tenant is only eligible for up to 15 months or $8,500. The Eviction Prevention Fund is a one-time assistance program. A tenant cannot receive assistance from EPF more than once.

The Eviction Prevention Fund is only processing applications as long as program funds are available. Visit portal.ct.gov/doh/doh/programs/eviction-prevention-fund for more information.

Renters’ Rebate

Eligible seniors and folks with disabilities may qualify for rent reimbursement of up to $900 for married couples and up to $700 for individuals. The application period is open from April 1, to October 1 of each year. If you miss the deadline, you may be able to request an extension. Applications can be made to your town’s social service agency or Assessor’s Office, depending on the town. Call (860) 418-6377 with any questions.

To qualify, your income must not exceed certain limits, you must have lived in Connecticut for at least one year, and you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be ages 65 years or older
  • Be ages 50 years or older and the surviving spouse of a qualifying renter who was permanently living with the renter at the time of their death
  • Or be 18 years old or older and eligible for Social Security Disabilities benefit

Click here for more information and an application link.

Career ConneCT: Job Training Program

The State of Connecticut’s job training program, Career ConneCT, has been successful in its first year of operation, placing more than 1,200 individuals in jobs.

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. Trainings are offered on a rolling basis online and in person, as well as during the day and at night. 

In addition to placing trainees in a job at the end of the program, Career ConneCT will offer eligible participants case management and job placement support, as well as supportive services needed to care for their family during training, such as childcare, transportation, food, housing, technology, benefits counseling, stipends, and more.

Learn more about the program and its success at the CT Mirror: https://ctmirror.org/2024/04/04/ct-arpa-funds-job-training-careerconnect/.

Click here to sign-up for the portal.

Workforce Rental Assistance

Individuals enrolled in workforce training programs may qualify for up to 3 months of rental assistance through UniteCT’s Workforce Rental Assistance Program.

To be eligible for the UniteCT Workforce Rental Assistance Program, a tenant must be registered for a workforce training program in Connecticut. The training program must:

  • Be hosted by either a Connecticut State Agency or a Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
  • Last a minimum of 4 weeks

Other eligibility requirements:

  • The participant’s household income must be 80% or below their Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Participants must have a landlord willing to participate to receive UniteCT funds.
  • Participant must be a tenant. Homeowners are not eligible. Subletters are not eligible.
  • Tenants must be listed on the lease of the apartment.
  • Household must be located in Connecticut.
  • Tenant assistance is conditional upon previous UniteCT support, and tenants will be deemed ineligible if they have received either $15,000 or 12 months of UniteCT rental assistance through past UniteCT programs.

The Workforce Rental Assistance Program is only processing applications as long as program funds are available. To apply, click here.

Financial Wellness Resources

Find resources for personal money management recommended by the State of Connecticut. Visit portal.ct.gov/ott and click Financial Wellness. Under this tab there is a variety of financial information, including resources for adults and families.

Under Resources for Adults and Families the following programs and more can be found:

  • Money Smart: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) uses engaging games to provide free financial education
  • SimplifyCT: a nonprofit connecting individuals to financial resources, like tax credits, through personal income tax return assistance
  • CT Association of Human Services: a nonprofit with information on programs such as financial coaching, CT Money School, and Bank On CT, which connects residents with affordable and safe bank accounts

There are also categories with information on:

  • Credit Management
    • Information and resources on credit, how to get credit, your credit report, and more
  • Personal Money Management
    • Information on saving and asset building, with several resources focused on women’s financial wellness
  • Housing and home ownership
    • Information on programs related to affordable homeownership

Check out all the resources the State of Connecticut has to offer for financial wellness!

Services Available to Everyone

Education

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. 

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.

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. 

Employment

Employment Services

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). 

Career ConneCT

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.

MyCTSavings Retirement Security

More than 600,000 private-sector employees in Connecticut do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. MyCTSavings is a retirement savings program created by law to close this gap for Connecticut employees. Employees can save money through automatic payroll contributions to their own Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The program is mandatory for employers to offer if they do not already provide a qualified retirement savings plan benefit but voluntary for employees to participate in.

The program is simple and convenient for Employees:

  • The money will follow them if they decide to change careers— they keep their account
  • Seamless payroll contributions make saving convenient
  • Flexible contribution levels to meet your needs
  • Investment fund options— choose how you want to save
  • It’s voluntary — stay enrolled automatically or opt out and re-enroll later
  • Access to people and online tools to help answer questions

Visit myctsavings.com/ to learn more. Download Saver fact sheets in English and Spanish.

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:

  • Assess your situation then learn about resources and supports available to you
  • Access financial and credit counseling workshops
  • Identify skills needed to advance in a career or transition to a new occupation
  • Assistance with your resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills
  • Employment search support
  • No-cost Job training scholarships that lead to certification or licensure

Healthcare

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 (Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)) or the Covered Connecticut Program.    

New State Health Portal

The State of Connecticut has launched a new health and human services portal, health.ct.gov. The goal is to provide Connecticut residents with quick access to services and information about health and wellness. Resources available on the portal include: Health benefits eligibility screener, healthy living tools, emergency health service information, insurance and financial resources, and heating and utilities assistance. Click here to learn more.

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.

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

Free at Home COVID-19 Tests and Treatment

The Test to Treat initiative, launched by the Biden-Harris Administration, provides free and quick access to COVID-19 tests and treatment. Participants can register for the program at any time, whether they are healthy or sick, to receive free COVID-19 tests, COVID-19 telehealth visits, and COVID-19 treatment (if eligible) 24 hours day, 7 days a week. The initiative is available nationwide at pharmacy-based clinics, community-based sites, federally-funded health centers, and long-term care facilities. Currently, eligibility is limited to uninsured and underinsured adults, as well as those on Medicare, Medicaid, and those in the Veteran Affairs healthcare system. The program is free and will never bill or contact any insurance program participants may have. Visit test2treat.org to learn more about how the program can help you stay healthy. Download the English Flyer and Spanish Flyer.

HUSKY

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.   

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:

  • Their HUSKY coverage is being renewed automatically; OR
  • DSS was unable to automatically renew their coverage and information is needed to check if they are still eligible. A renewal form will be included.

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.

Expanded Insurance Coverage for Gum Disease

As of January 1, 2024, HUSKY Health and Covered CT adult members will have expanded access to periodontal benefits. Periodontitis, or Gum Disease, occurs when plaque builds up on your teeth and is not removed, hardening into tartar. Symptoms include gums that bleed easily, pain when chewing, loose or sensitive teeth, and bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away. Gum disease is linked to other health issues including respiratory disease, coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, preterm birth and low birth weight, and trouble controlling blood sugar in diabetes.

To qualify for the benefit a patient must:

  • Be enrolled in HUSKY A, B, C, D or Covered CT
  • Have treatable periodontal disease as determined by a provider
  • Be diagnosed with a medical condition that affects systemic health conditions, as outlined by the Connecticut Department of Social Services
  • More details on the benefit and eligibility can be found at ctfoodshare.org/dentalhealth or by scanning the QR code

HUSKY Health or Covered CT Members who have questions should call the CT Dental Health Partnership at: 855-CT-DENTAL (855) 283-3682.

FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card

For information on receiving prescription discount card call 800-222-2818 or visit familywize.org. 

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 Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Case Management Program is for families receiving cash assistance from the state and approaching the end of their benefits that may need help achieving self-sufficiency. Case managers identify and help families overcome barriers to success. Learn more about TANF or self-refer to the program here.
  • The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Case Management Program links victims of certain crimes to case managers that can help with advocacy, support, access to services, and assistance with the Victims Compensation process. All services are free and based on what the victimization dictates. A self-referral form is available.
  • The Screening Connecticut’s Youth (SCY) Program is a new approach to early detection of mental health challenges or trauma-related issues in children between the ages of 4 and 17. Families are offered a brief mental health screening and then provided with access to behavioral health services if needed. To refer a child for a free screening, complete this form.
  • The Parenting Education Program (PEP) is a court-mandated, 6-hour class for families going through a divorce or separation. The curriculum helps participants navigate co-parenting with a focus on what is best for their child(ren). To learn more about PEP, including a calendar of in-person and virtual classes across the state, click here.

Youth Behavioral Health Funds

Family Assistance & Social Determinant Funds (FASD) are currently available for provider reimbursement. Providers may complete a funding request for behavioral health treatment, intervention, and/or medication for youth aged 0 to 18 whose needs otherwise would not be met through commercial insurance, Husky Health, family funding, or community based resources. A maximum of $5,000 is allowed per request. Requests will be accepted until January 1, 2025, or until funds run out. For more details, click here.

Agriculture Community Crisis Support

The agriculture industry can be unpredictable, unforgiving, and stressful. To address this, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture has created a website with Ag Stress Relief Tools for the mental health of Connecticut farmers and farm families. Crisis support is available via the Helpline at 833-897-2474. There is also information on non-emergency resources, family resources, business resources, and peer-to-peer networking. Visit https://ctfarmstressrelief.com/ for more information.

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

Housing

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. 

Eviction Prevention

Qualifying Connecticut households have access to the Eviction Prevention Fund (EPF), administered by UniteCT through the Department of Housing. Tenants who have a summary process eviction action pending against them may qualify for up to 15 months or $8,500 in a one-time rental assistance payment to cover their rental arrears. Tenants must complete an application with the assistance of Resource Center staff. Contact the UniteCT Call Center to schedule an appointment for assistance (1-844-864-8328).

If the tenant received previous rental assistance through the UniteCT program, the tenant’s maximum assistance will carry through to the Eviction Prevention Fund. Thus, between the two programs the tenant is only eligible for up to 15 months or $8,500. The Eviction Prevention Fund is a one-time assistance program. A tenant cannot receive assistance from EPF more than once.

The Eviction Prevention Fund is only processing applications as long as program funds are available. Visit portal.ct.gov/doh/doh/programs/eviction-prevention-fund for more information.

Housing Assistance

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can help you meet your housing needs, including homelessness assistance programs, local public housing, rental assistance and relief resources. Go to https://www.hud.gov/ or call the local office at 860-240-4800 in Hartford, CT.

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.  

Reduce Energy-Related Costs with Weatherization

Reduce energy-related costs through home improvement measures. Free weatherization services may include heating system tune-ups and repairs, attic and sidewall insulation, and health and safety inspections. Eligibility is 60% of the State Median Income. Learn more at https://ctfoodshare.org/Weatherization.

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 and their phone number is 860-243-2345.   

Eversource New Start Electric Bill Pay Program

Eversource’s New Start program aims to eliminate individuals outstanding balance, in as little as 12 months. To get started, call 800-286-2828 or visit Eversource.com/BillHelp. This is how the program works:

  • They will review your account billing history and set a monthly payment plan based on the average of your regular monthly bill.
  • When you make your New Start monthly payment, a portion of your total balance at the time of enrollment will be eliminated, or “forgiven,” reducing the amount you owe. The amount forgiven each month is calculated by taking your total enrolled balance and dividing it by 12.
  • As long as you continue to make your New Start payment, your service will not be shut-off for non-payment.
  • For example, if your budget payment amount is set at $150 per month and your past due balance is $1,200, for every month you make your required $150 budget payment towards your current bill, Eversource will reduce your past-due balance by $100.

New Start Eligibility:

  • You must be a current Eversource residential electric customer with a past due balance of $100 or more that is 60 or more days past due; and
  • Your income must fall at or below 60 percent of the estimated state median income; or
  • You have a medical certification for a household member; or 
  • You have applied for, and are eligible to receive energy assistance funds, or are able to provide other proof of income

Electric Bill Discount Program

Eversource and United Illuminating are introducing a new Low-Income Discount Rate for Electric Customers on December 1, 2023. Based on household income and receipt of public benefits, customers can qualify for 10% to 50% off of their monthly electric bill. To qualify, customers must verify financial hardship eligibility with their utility company. Customers who already have financial hardship status on their account will automatically be given the new discounted rate, provided they reverify their status. Click here to learn more from Eversource. Click here to learn more from United Illuminating.  

Energize CT: Know Your Energy Choices

Are you wondering if you have the best price on your energy bills? Energize Connecticut can help! Energize Connecticut has resources to help Connecticut residents make informed energy choices and save money. Residents can search rebates and incentives, and compare rates from different energy companies to ensure they have the lowest price. They can also find resources for income-eligible households, single family homeowners, renters, small businesses, and more. Visit energizect.com/ to learn more.

Nutrition

SNAP

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.  

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)

An Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents is a person who is 18 up until their 50th birthday, is not disabled, and, is not living with a dependent child under the age of 18. An ABAWD is allowed to receive SNAP benefits for only 3 months during a 36-month period. Please visit https://ctfoodshare.org/ABAWDS for more information or call our SNAP Outreach Team at 860-856-HELP (4357).

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.   

Non-Citizen Resources

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. 

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.  

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 heather.pease@uconn.edu or Angela Caldera at angela.caldera@uconn.edu. Register here.

Click ‘N Cook Healthy Recipe Finder

Find simple & healthy recipes for the ingredients you have available using Click ‘N Cook! Click ‘N Cook was developed by registered dietitians at the Greater Boston Food Bank to improve community health and address food insecurity. This tool is helpful for finding the right recipe for your unique needs.

To find the right recipe for you, enter up to three key ingredients into the search bar, such as chicken, spinach, or pasta, and look through the options. Even enter an ingredient you haven’t used before for a new idea! Recipes will show ingredients, tips for substitutions, easy to follow directions, serving size, and nutrition facts. It even displays the SWAP score, a stoplight nutrition ranking system to help you choose healthy foods.

If you or your family has special dietary needs, you can filter results to show gluten free, high fiber, low fat, low sodium, or vegetarian & vegan recipes.

Recipes can also be sorted by cooking method: for families, grill, microwave, no cook, one pot, oven, quick & easy, stovetop, and slow cooker.

Visit clickncook.org to find your next recipe!

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.

Here at Connecticut Foodshare, the Institute for Hunger Research and Solutions have collaborated with other organizations to create recipe cards. Download packet 1. Download packet 2.

SNAP4CT Recipes

Visit www.snap4ct.org/ to search through healthy, budget friendly recipes. Visit snap4ct.org/recipe-videos to browse video recipes.

SNAP Express Meal Kits and Recipes

UDSA’s SNAP Express offers nutritionist approved, low cost meal kits and recipes. It also offers a free service that helps participants shop online with their EBT card. Participating store locations may even offer free delivery and pickup options.

Here is how it works:

  1. Choose a Meal Kit: meal kits include multiple recipes and show average cost as well as servings per kit
  2. Select a grocery store chain: Instacart, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market
  3. Buy your groceries online: meal kit ingredients will conveniently transfer to the shopping cart of your selected grocery store
  4. Follow the recipe! The meal kit contains all the ingredients and instructions participants will need to create meals.

If participants are only interested in new recipes, they can still download meal kits and recipes without utilizing the online grocery ordering service. Visit usda.snapexpress.org/snap-express-meal-kits/ to learn more.

Other

211

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.

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.

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

UR Community Cares: Connecting Neighbors and Volunteers

UR Community Cares (UCC) is a platform that makes it easy for volunteers and community members across Connecticut to connect. UCC was created with the goal of improving the health and quality of life of older (age 70 and up) and disabled (age 18 and up) adults by filling in the gaps of four key areas: housework, yard work, transportation, and social companionship. Once signed-up, a community member uses the website to put in a request for assistance. Volunteers then pick which request works best for them. UCC uses background checks to ensure the safety of both volunteers and community members. Learn more at https://www.urcommunitycares.org/.

UCC has also created a Blind/Vision Impaired Directory to provide resources for services, advanced technology options and local organizations. View this resource and others under the updates tab of the website.

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.

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. 

Lifeline

Lifeline is a federal benefit that lowers the cost of phone and/or internet service by up to $9.25 for a household. If you qualify for Lifeline, you automatically qualify for Affordable Connectivity. Tribal lands qualify for enhanced benefits. Check if you qualify for Lifeline.

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:

  • you are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen.
  • the death occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia;
  • the death was attributed to COVID-19; and
  • you are responsible for the eligible funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020

Click here to learn more and see what expenses FEMA may cover.

Legal services

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.  

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

Legal Resources for Veterans

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center is a non-profit legal aid organization that represents Veterans across Connecticut with various legal issues including but not limited to, VA benefits and service connection, discharge upgrade, housing defense (evictions, landlord-tenant disputes), debt relief, child support, public benefits, bias and discrimination, and military sexual trauma. Learn more at ctveteranslegal.org/veterans.

Find a Free Rehab Center

FreeRehabCenters.org can help you find a rehab treatment program that fits yours needs. Find information on inpatient, outpatient, and residential rehab programs, as well as specialized programs for women, veterans, and people with co-occurring disorders.

Visit www.freerehabcenters.org/state/connecticut or call 1-866-972-0589 to get help.

Find Events on 211

View various upcoming events on 211 at uwc.211ct.org/events/. Find posts for events such as job recruitments help signing up for benefits, informational webinars, and more.

Services Available if you are a Senior and/or have a Disability

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 

Renters’ Rebate

Eligible seniors and folks with disabilities may qualify for rent reimbursement of up to $900 for married couples and up to $700 for individuals. The application period is open from April 1, to October 1 of each year. If you miss the deadline, you may be able to request an extension. Applications can be made to your town’s social service agency or Assessor’s Office, depending on the town. Call (860) 418-6377 with any questions.

To qualify, your income must not exceed certain limits, you must have lived in Connecticut for at least one year, and you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be ages 65 years or older
  • Be ages 50 years or older and the surviving spouse of a qualifying renter who was permanently living with the renter at the time of their death
  • Or be 18 years old or older and eligible for Social Security Disabilities benefit

Click here for more information and an application link.

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.

Information and Services Available to you once you are Approved for SNAP Benefits

SNAP Benefits Replacements

SNAP recipients may apply for replacement benefits from DSS due to a misfortune such as, but not limited to flood, fire, hurricane, or a power outage that lasted a minimum of 4 consecutive hours. To apply for replacement benefits, the household must report the loss of food to DSS within 10 calendar days and complete form W-1225 (Spanish form W-1225S). If a SNAP recipient cannot download the form or get to an office, the person can call 1-855-626-6632 to request that a form be mailed. Download a flyer for more information at ctfoodshare.org/SNAP-Replacement.

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. 

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). 

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

For details on how to use your SNAP EBT card for online food purchases, go to portal.ct.gov/snap. Retailers now approved for online SNAP purchasing are ACME; Big Y; Food Bazaar; Market 32; Price Rite; ShopRite; Target; Whole Foods; Balducci’s; Kings Food Market; Geissler’s Supermarkets (geisslers.com/lets-shop-rosie); Amazon (amazon.com/snap-ebt); Walmart   (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 and 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 

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

SchoolCityPhone
AsnuntuckEnfield860-253-3082
CapitalHartford860-906-5029
GatewayNew Haven203-285-2300
HousatonicBridgeport203-332-5057
ManchesterManchester860-512-2827
MiddlesexMiddletown860-343-5716
NaugatuckWaterbury/Danbury203-575-8166
Northwestern CTWinsted860-738-6419
NorwalkNorwalk203-857-7059
QuinebaugDanielsen860-932-4005
Three RiversNorwich860-215-9028
TunxisFarmington860-773-1454

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 ProvidersCityPhone Number
CT Center for Arts & TechnologyNew Haven203-832-9823
Community Culinary School of Northwestern CTNew Milford860-512-5791
Goodwin UniversityEast Hartford860-727-6936
Opportunities Industrialization CenterNew London860-447-1731