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01 November 2023 · 4 min. read

EPB and TVA Commit $220,000 to Chattanooga’s United Way Bridge Fund

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (October 24, 2023) — Many households in the Chattanooga community face persistent financial hardship due to the continued increase in the costs of goods and services. To support its customers during their time of need, EPB has invested $110,000 into United Way of Greater Chattanooga’s Bridge Fund, matched by TVA, for a joint partnership of $220,000 to address basic needs like food, utilities, and housing.

“At a time when the cost of living continues to increase, many people living in our community find it even harder to make funds stretch between paychecks,” said EPB President and CEO David Wade. “We appreciate this opportunity to partner with TVA and United Way in helping our neighbors in need.”

According to LendingClub, 61% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. United Way’s Bridge Fund provides direct support for those who have an immediate need for food, health services, transportation, crisis relief, housing, utility payments or childcare. To access free and confidential assistance, call 211, text your zip code to 898-211 or email In the last year, 211 has responded to more than 62,000 requests, more than half of which are for food assistance followed by rent and utility assistance.

“Approximately 40% of households in our region are currently facing financial hardship, many of them with children,” said United Way of Greater Chattanooga President & CEO Lesley Scearce. “With the support of our community partners, we are able to provide reliable and essential services to those experiencing financial stress.”

This is EPB and TVA’s fourth investment in the Bridge Fund, bringing their total investment to $940,000. Separately, EPB employees committed nearly $210,000 in personal contributions to the United Way during its 2023 annual campaign. TVA has supported more than 900 organizations with $22.5 million in assistance since 2020 through the Community Care Fund in partnership with local power companies in its seven-state service area.

“The United Way Bridge Fund provides essential resources for people throughout the Chattanooga area,” said TVA President & CEO Jeff Lyash. “We’re proud to work with our partners at EPB to support this lifeline for those in need.”

United Way also offers Benefits Kitchen, a free screening tool to help people determine whether they qualify for certain benefits. Text “benefits” to 211-211 to understand eligibility in less than 10 minutes.

United Way of Greater Chattanooga launched the Bridge Fund in 2020 to support the needs of those directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has raised more than $1.5 million to assist 1,300 households. United Way continues to partner with numerous agencies to provide critical services to neighbors in need.


About United Way of Greater Chattanooga

At United Way of Greater Chattanooga, we envision a community where everyone achieves their full human potential through education, stability, and health & well-being. Our mission is to unite people and resources in building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we drive measurable, lasting impact for our community. None of us can do it alone. UNITED, we can. For more information, visit our website

About TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

About EPB

With the mission of “enhancing quality of life in our community,” EPB is a municipal utility that delivers world-class energy and connectivity services to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. In 2010, EPB completed a 100% fiber optic network accessible to all its customers as the basis for launching America’s first community-wide Gig speed internet. The company still operates the world’s fastest community-wide internet service today at speeds up to 25 Gig. EPB also utilizes Chattanooga’s fiber optic network as the communications backbone for the most advanced and highly automated power distribution system in the United States. In 2022, EPB continued its commitment to keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge by establishing our nation’s first commercially available quantum network--EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk which aligns local job creation efforts with the national priority to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technology.

Since switching the lights on for its first electric customer in 1939, EPB has grown to serve a 600-square-mile service area with cutting-edge infrastructure that integrates power distribution and telecommunications. At the same time, EPB keeps customer benefit at the center of all its efforts, earning recognition from J.D. Power as the #1 Mid-Sized Utility in the South for the last seven consecutive years based on customer satisfaction ratings. Learn more at

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