Help with access to food this holiday season
ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. – United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) gave away $2,000 in grocery gift cards with funding from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) powered by FEMA. Families who received a gift card were Oneida County residents who had previously been helped secure permanent housing with the help of United Way MV.
United Way MV’s goal with their grocery giveaway was to help people achieve a greater quality of life. Connecting families with necessary resources, such as food, minimizes an already burdensome time for families that are in need this holiday season.
United Way MV’s grocery gift card giveaway partnered with Compassion Coalition’s self-sustaining grocery store, Bargain Grocery. At Bargain Grocery, shoppers can purchase fresh groceries at discounted rates, resulting in shoppers getting 35% more groceries with their gift cards from United Way MV. This partnership allowed United Way MV’s giveaway to go a little further for the recipient community members.
"Through the EFSP funding, we were able to provide individuals and families who have recently experienced homelessness an additional boost toward their financial stability,” said Betty-Joan Beaudry, United Way MV’s Community Impact Director. “This giveaway helped alleviate one financial burden as they adjust to their new homes and at a time when they are also having to buy weather-appropriate clothing and manage other rising costs.”
Last month, 50 United Way MV Welcome Home Kits were given to previously unhoused individuals and families as well. The kits included many household necessities, such as cookware, towels, and bedding. The kits helped with removing the financial burden and challenge of securing these needed items as they become established in their homes and strive for financial stability.
All United Way MV grocery gift cards and Welcome Home Kits have been distributed, however, individuals and families in need of health or human service help, such as housing and food, should utilize United Way’s 211 services to be connected to available help. 211 is a 24/7 operation that better navigates the network of services available, connecting community members to the right help faster. You can reach this service by dialing 2-1-1, visiting www.211midyork.org, or by texting your zip code to 898-211.
There are many ways to be part of the change right along with United Way of the Mohawk Valley. Donations can be made online at unitedwaymv.org/donate, or by mail to 258 Genesee Street, Utica, N.Y. 13502.
About Emergency Food and Shelter Program
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was created about 40 years ago by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and unhoused people by allocating federal funds to provide food and shelter support. Local EFS Boards are charged by the county to distribute the funds to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in their area. The local boards determine how their county funds are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. United Way MV administers the funds for the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFS) for Oneida and Herkimer counties.
About United Way of the Mohawk Valley
Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) has been a human service leader helping thousands of local individuals and families by bringing people and organizations together to solve our community’s challenges. As one of the area’s top funders, dozens of programs rely on United Way MV funding each year.
United Way MV is a leader in innovation through projects and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability. For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit www.unitedwaymv.org, or call 315.733.4691