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CARE Package Relief

Working with local partners to close the gender and race gap in humanitarian and emergency response.


CARE launched the U.S. CARE Package Relief program in 2020, in response to economic and food insecurity created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with local partners, CARE assisted vulnerable women and families with access to food, cash, and jobs. This work was made possible by community groups, local government agencies, and gig platform agencies and occurred in San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Louisville, Los Angeles, and Akron, OH. Across these six cities, we delivered 13M+ meals to food-insecure populations and put over $1.8M directly in workers’ pockets.

Today, our emergency response work directly addresses gender. Disasters disproportionately affect women and girls of color because of inequities in political, economic and social resources. In the U.S., just as in so many other countries in which CARE works, emergency response often ignores or is unable to reach the most vulnerable residents: primarily women, children, and people of color. Through the CARE Partner Network, CARE works to ensure that women and families can find stability and recover after a life-changing tragedy. The network consists of trusted local partners, many of which are women- and/or BIPOC-led, who understand their communities’ needs.


Today’s U.S. CARE Package provides life-saving food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable women, and communities of color, and creates income-generation opportunities for people in affected communities. Our work with CARE Partner Network partners to provide cash assistance, food, and jobs is tailored to reach the overlooked and homebound. This approach has proven capable of addressing multiple challenges that face stakeholders with vulnerable families, job seekers, and neighborhood and grassroots organizations.

A woman wearing an orange CARE t-shirt and matching face mask holds two bags of chips up to a man carrying a cardboard box with a large paper bag stacked on top. Behind them are large stacks of plastic water bottles. A drone shot of a line of cars in a parking lot.
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Houston, Texas / February 25, 2021

Gabby Dirden, a CARE contractor, helps Walter Ballard collect food and water for his family during Bethel's Heavenly Hands food and water distribution in Houston, Texas, on February 25, 2021. Hundreds of people received much-needed food and water. The need was even greater this week following the snowstorms that disrupted power and water service to much of Houston last week. Bethel's Heavenly Hands is a CARE partner. Photo by Laura Noel/CARE.

Where we work

Beyond the COVID-19 crisis, CARE has used its CARE Partner Network to respond to domestic emergencies, particularly those where women and families are most affected. To date, this has encompassed the Houston ice storm, Hurricanes Ida and Ian, and the Midwest tornadoes in Kentucky and Arkansas.

Currently, much of our focus is on the Gulf Coast which has a high number of vulnerable residents, especially women, and faces regular severe weather events.

CARE Partner Network

CARE’s emergency response is built on a network of local experts and organizations, many BIPOC- and women-led. We work together to ensure the most vulnerable receive critical resources in emergency response and recovery. The network also works together to share knowledge and build capacity within each partner organization. The CARE Partner Network includes the following organizations:

Houston Food Bank

Bethel’s Heavenly Hands


Feeding Tampa Bay

HOPE Partnership