Electric City Connection Project Reboots for Winter

Program established at the onset of pandemic has provided thousands of meals to area residents in need.
Electric City Connection Project Reboots for Winter

Over nine months into a global pandemic, food insecurity continues to soar for local families and restaurant revenue is declining due to COVID-19 protocols. With these increasing needs and challenges organizers of the Electric City Connection are once again seeking community support.

The Electric City Connection project, a collaboration led by The University of Scranton, Scranton Tomorrow, and Friends of the Poor, was launched at the onset of the pandemic with the goal of offering immediate food access to area residents in need and to help provide incoming funds to local restaurants experiencing economic setbacks due to COVID-19.

As we head into the winter months, this project is seeking additional donations of $15 per meal to help area residents and support local Scranton restaurants, both feeling the economic impacts of COVID-19. Contributions can be made through Scranton Tomorrow. To make a contribution, visit scrantontomorrow.org and click on Electric City Connection. Since re-launching the program in December, contributions have totaled more than $6,000.  

Originally launched at the end of March 2020, the program received an immediate outpouring of support from generous donors, demonstrating the power of grassroots efforts to address community issues. Over 460 donors contributed funds used directly to purchase gift cards to local Scranton restaurant partners. These gift cards were then distributed by the Friends of the Poor Scranton to area residents facing food insecurity, many of whom were first time recipients of assistance.

“We are seeing a great and ongoing need in the area. Many people are first time recipients of food assistance, truly showing the economic struggles in the face of the pandemic,” Sr. Ann remarked. “Thankfully there is also a great deal of generosity and support to help fill our community needs. The Electric City Connection is a great program to mutually sustain both our local restaurant businesses, and also to provide food assistance to the individuals and families in our community during this challenging time.” 

As the pandemic endured throughout the summer, so did the need to both support local restaurant businesses that were not able to open to full capacity and to continue to provide meals to our neighbors in need. The work of the Electric City Connection project was able to continue over the summer thanks to a generous $20,000 grant from Scranton Area Community Foundation to continue its work throughout the summer and add to the generous community member donations.

This additional support from the Scranton Area Community Foundation grant helped the project’s efforts to provide over 3,000 meals to community members, including gift card distributions, as well as an expansion of the program to include senior citizens and residents with disabilities living in Downtown Scranton high rises. Residents in these Downtown Scranton highrises we provided with meals coordinated through local restaurant partners. Many of these residents are in the most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and people with disabilities. 

To learn more about The University of Scranton, visit scranton.edu, for more information on Scranton Tomorrow and to make a contribution please visit www.scrantontomorrow.org,and for more information about Friends of the Poor, visit fotp-ihm.org. For questions about The Electric City Connection, contact The University of Scranton Community Relations Office via email at community@scranton.edu or by calling 570-941-5529.

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