United Way Works to Improve Health and Meet Basic Needs

When individuals are unable to meet their immediate needs, it is more difficult to focus on long-term goals. Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, United Way recognizes that basic needs services are essential to the most vulnerable in our community and critical to getting people back on the road to self-sufficiency.

Success Stories

Martha, a resident of Hardin County, a full-time student at ECTC, a mother and wife, hadn’t been feeling well for some time. While her husband and son did have insurance, she did not. Unfortunately, she didn’t qualify for assistance and couldn’t afford the high premiums offered by her husband’s employer or on the healthcare exchange. After learning that she did qualify for assistance at the Community Health Clinic, Martha began seeing several volunteer physicians, eventually learning that she would require open heart surgery. A short time later she found herself in surgery having a triple by-pass, later learning that she had 70, 80 and 90 percent blockages. Martha is now in rehabilitation and is giving back to those that helped her by serving as a site VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) for the Community Health Clinic.

Resource Referrals

United Way is a centralized resource of nonprofit programs and services, and refers hundreds of people in crisis each year to agencies that can help meet their needs.  We are always working to organize existing resources in our community, so we can make more efficient referrals.  Our resource guide is available online anytime to those in need or for use by other organizations that could find this information helpful.

Give a Day for Hunger

In 2016, a record-setting number of volunteers came together to ensure that no child in our region went hungry over spring and fall breaks by providing additional food to each at-risk child on the Backpack program. In total, 1,133 volunteers packed over 20,016 Backpack program bags serving 1,747 hours at a value of over $36,966 during this year’s Give A Day For Hunger initiatives. With additional funding provided by Give270, the Give A Day for Hunger Initiative expanded from its original roots in Hardin County to ensure that Breckinridge, Grayson, LaRue, and Meade County students also received additional Backpack program bags over school breaks.

Housing & Homelessness Coalition

Through our research into community needs over the last several years, we learned that our nearest homeless shelter in Louisville was not able to take individuals and families from our region as had been thought to be standard practice in the past. This new understanding led to the development of an organized interagency effort to provide a local solution for those facing homelessness during the winter, and develop a plan to serve these families throughout the year. Our AmeriCorps VISTA program was able to provide a full-time position to support these collective efforts. We are proud to know that our community has responded to this need by offering an emergency shelter program from December-February in partnership with multiple churches. To learn more about the Coalition's work contact United Way of Central Kentucky at (270) 737-6608.

Improving Access to Healthy Foods

In addition to funding the distribution of produce through Feeding America’s Farms to Foodbanks program, we have helped companies like Altec engage their employees in growing healthy fruits and vegetables for those in need. Altec’s Grow for Good initiative encouraged staff to plant extra seeds in the spring so additional produce could be developed through our partnership with Feeding America. This was an easy and low-cost way for more local residents to have better access to fresh foods they may not otherwise be able to afford.

FamilyWize Prescription Savings Program

Do you or your co-workers need prescription medications that are not covered under their insurance, or have high co-pays or annual deductibles?  In a partnership between United Way and FamilyWize Community Services, United Way offers free discount cards to local families.  The cards are like coupons that can be used as much as you want, with 46% of the prescriptions filled through this program last year costing $15.00 or less. There’s even a Drug Price Lookup Tool provided free of charge on and via the free FamilyWize app. Just enter the name of their medication and zip code to see which local pharmacy has the best FamilyWize price prior to filling your prescription.  If your company would like to offer this benefit, we can provide free cards and materials to share with your employees. Learn more about this program here or download your card today.

FamilyWize and United Way have partnered to help almost 10 million people save more than $1 billion on the prescription medications they need. This effort has helped improve the health and financial stability of individuals and families in our communities nationwide. For more information on this impact, check out this Health Impact Report.

Funded Programs

In 2018-2019 United Way of Central Kentucky invested over $436,000 in programs that are essential to the most vulnerable in our community and critical to getting people back on the road to self- sufficiency.

  • Cloverport Independent School: $2,000 to help provide employment opportunities and supply hygiene products for students.
  • Community Health Clinic: $70,000 to provide healthcare for the working poor who fall through the cracks in the insurance system.
  • Grayson County Alliance: $50,000 to prevent children and families from going hungry.
  • Grayson County Ministerial Association: $10,000 to improve the self-sufficiency of those struggling to meet their basic needs.
  • Grayson County Schools: $2,000 to provide supplemental hygiene products to students in need.
  • Helping Hand of Hope: $96,500 to provide emergency assistance with rent, utilities, and other basic needs.
  • Legal Aid: $2,500 to provide legal services to help families prevent foreclosure and eviction, be protected from domestic violence, and put clients back on the path to financial stability through expungement. 
  • Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s Shepherd’s Pie Food Pantry: $13,500 to provide fresh produce, meat, and other foods to families struggling with hunger.
  • Meade Activity Center: $12,500 to provide scholarships for low-income children to participate in youth sports and summer camps.
  • Silverleaf Sexual Trauma & Recovery Services: $40,000 to provide counseling to children who have suffered sexual abuse and to prevent future mental health and substance abuse which can stem from untreated trauma.
  • SpringHaven Domestic Violence Program: $60,000 to provide safety for survivors of domestic violence as well as the advocacy, education, and resources needed for them to regain their independence and self-sufficiency.
  • Feeding America KY's Heartland: $77,000 to keep local students from going hungry over the weekend through the BackPack program and distribute produce from the Farms to Foodbanks program.