United Way MV Kicks-off First Meal Box Distribution

1,500 meal boxes distributed in Utica at the first of UW’s three-part series.

October 26, 2020 - Utica, NY -

United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) distributed 1,500 meal boxes on Sunday, October 25, 2020 in the City of Utica as part of their “Take and Make” food distribution series. This was the first of a three-part meal box give away hosted by United Way MV.

United Way partnered with Casa Imports and Karam Produce, providing boxes full of fresh food including produce and meat. Every box included a step-by-step recipe booklet with enough ingredients to prepare five meals for a family of five, for a total of 37,500 meals for the City of Utica residents. Each meal box also included 50 disposable masks donated by Bank of America.

“COVID-19 has amplified many challenges in our community including unprecedented food insecurity,” said Erin Gutierrez Matt, United Way MV CEO. “Our distribution on Sunday leveraged local partnerships to provide people with a unique package of fresh, quality ingredients.”

City of Utica residents can expect two more distributions as a part of the series powered by United Way MV, which is funded through a grant from the City of Utica out of their Community Development Block Grant CV – CARES Act as part of COVID-19 relief efforts.

“It is important that government entities, including the City, work in collaboration with our community partners to provide assistance and resources to individuals who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19,” said City of Utica Mayor, Robert Palmieri. “I am pleased the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are being utilized to distribute food to residents in need. I commend the United Way for coordinating the food distribution, as well as Casa Imports and Karam Produce for their continued support and generosity.”

United Way was joined by more than 70 volunteers from the community, who assembled, packed, and distributed boxes throughout the weekend. Volunteers were able to sign-up through United Way’s Volunteers United online platform. Individuals interested in helping with the next distribution or other volunteer needs can visit www.volunteersunitedmv.org.

“I’ve been blessed in my life and I want to share what I can to make sure other people are taken care of,” said George of Utica, a volunteer helping with the food distribution. “I feel like giving back is important, sharing my blessings forward to make a difference is why I volunteer.”

Anyone interested in receiving details for United Way’s Take and Make Meal Box food distribution can sign up for United Way's newsletter or email liveunited@unitedwaymv.org.