Utica National Group Foundation awards $250,000 to food pantries and soup kitchens

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UTICA — For the second straight year, the Utica National Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Utica National Insurance Group, announced it has awarded $250,000 to more than 30 food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Oneida an Herkimer counties.

The Utica National Group Foundation has once again partnered with The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties to identify the need and to distribute the individual grants through its donor-advised fund.

Last spring, the Utica National Group Foundation launched an initiative that is referred to as the “Food Security Project” to help address food insecurity issues resulting from the pandemic. This included an initial $75,000 award, followed by a $250,000 award that was divided among nearly three dozen food service organizations.

Given the success of the first two awards and the on-going need for this assistance, the Utica National Group Foundation’s screening committee felt that this third round of awards was necessary as the community continues to recover. The funds awarded will be used to provide individual meals from local restaurants to soup kitchens and will restock food pantries’ shelves with essentials. 

“Our foundation is focused on the continuing need for food security in our local community as people and families try to recover from a devastating pandemic. We’re honored to be able to provide meals for those who need them and to continue to help these local businesses succeed as they reopen and recover,” said Bernard Turi, chair of the foundation’s Screening Committee and Utica National’s executive vice-president, general counsel, general auditor, and chief risk officer. “Helping our non-profits make meals available is our heartfelt way to say, ‘thank you,’ for all that they do every day to help others.”

Alicia Dicks, president/CEO of the Community Foundation, said the award from Utica National Group Foundation Fund will mean so much to many.

“It’s unique because its impact is three-pronged — benefiting residents who need food, while also supporting the non-profits that distribute the food, as well as local restaurants that are preparing the meals,” said Dicks. “It’s this type of impact that will help overcome food insecurity in our area, and we’re proud that we could play a part in it.”

The award recipients are:

Angels Among Us Food Pantry

Bread of Life Community Center

Camden Area Food Pantry

Church of the Holy Family Pantry

Dolgeville Area Food Pantry

Feed Our Vets Food Pantry

Foothills Rural Community Ministry

Frankfort Ilion Food Pantry

Helping Hands Food Pantry

Hope House                                                  

Johnson Park Center

Kuyahoora Valley Food Pantry

Little Falls Community Outreach

Mohawk Valley Food Pantry

Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen

Rescue Mission of Utica

Rome Rescue Mission       

Salvation Army of Herkimer        

Salvation Army of Rome

Salvation Army – Utica

Seeds of Hope Food Pantry

St. Bartholomew’s Food Pantry

St. John’s Outreach Food Pantry

St. Joseph’s Church Pantry

The Country Pantry

Thea Bowman House

Town of Verona Food Pantry

Utica Food Pantry

Van Hornesville Food Pantry

Waterville Area Food Pantry

West Winfield Food Pantry

Westminster Moriah Olivet Pantry

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