(WIVB)- In an effort to support customers affected by the coronavirus, National Grid is directing $500,000 to those facing finacial hardships due to the pandemic in communities across New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“We are committed to helping our customers through the difficult times and unchartered challenges associated with this pandemic. We recognize this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. We want to do our part to look out for our customers and protect the communities where we live and serve,” officials said in a statement Wednesday.

The company plans to work with community-based organizations to ensure basic needs won’t be interrupted. Some of the programs that will be targeted:

  • The United Way Rhode Island Crisis Fund 
  • The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund 
  • Boston Resiliency Fund
  • The United Way of Central MA ‘We Care Fund’
  • Island Harvest on Long Island
  • The United Way and other organizations across our New York footprint

 Officials from National Grid say they have also taken the following steps to protect the safety of their customers and employees:

  • Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers
  • Encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to contact the company as soon as possible for assistance.
  • Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with state and county Social Services and community assistance organizations.
  • Requiring our employees to take precautionary measures before entering a customer’s home to limit exposure to our customers and our workforce.   

Additional information can be found at ngrid.com/covid-19.