United Way MV Provides Access to 31,250 Meals This Holiday Season

18 Mohawk Valley Agencies Received Meal Boxes!

UTICA, N.Y. – United Way of the Mohawk Valley (United Way MV) distributed 1,250 meal boxes, equivalent to at least 31,250 meals to the most in-need food pantries and non-profit agencies throughout the area on Saturday, December 11.

The meal boxes were distributed to 18 organizations in both Oneida and Herkimer counties, and went as far as Old Forge, Boonville, Ilion, Herkimer, Utica, Lee Center, Holland Patent, Oneida, and Rome. United Way MV works to create access to healthy food through innovative partnerships, especially heading into the holiday season.

“A lack of access to food still burdens many families in the Mohawk Valley,” said Erin Gutierrez Matt, United Way MV CEO. “United Way of the Mohawk Valley has the unique ability to bring people and resources together to help. By bridging funds and partnerships, we can support the agencies that are helping to provide families with healthy and fresh meals.”

Funding for the distribution was secured by combining the generous gift of a private donor and a funding award to United Way MV from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for Oneida and Herkimer counties to address food needs across the region. United Way MV continues to celebrate partnerships with Karam’s Produce and Casa Imports that makes events like this possible. The Food Bank of CNY also helped identify food pantries and the areas with the most significant needs. 

“Our goal today was to get as many meal boxes as possible into our client’s hands,” said Jerry Nethercott, the Coordinator for St. Peter’s Mission of the Christ Child Food Pantry. “We did that by doing our normal Tuesday food pantry distribution and then providing our folks with the meal boxes and bags of potatoes and onions over-and-above what they were expecting. It was very exciting to watch their reaction!”

One of the food pantries that took part in the food distribution had very minimal stock on hand, and at one point recently got down to nothing but a jar of peanut butter on their shelves. United Way MV was able to supply them with enough boxes of food to support the clients they serve.

The list of participating pantries and agencies was based on both the financial and client needs at each location. United Way of MV partnered with Food Bank of CNY to establish which food pantries would best be served with the boxes. All pantries and agencies were surveyed to determine the volume of need at their agency, and how these meal boxes could help fill that need.

United Way MV administers the Emergency Food and Shelter Program for Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Funding through this program becomes available in phased time periods as announced by United Way Worldwide. For more information on the Emergency Food and Shelter Program head to, unitedwaymv.org/efs.


About United Way of the Mohawk Valley

Since 1921, United Way of the Mohawk Valley has been a human service leader in the Mohawk Valley, encouraging all community members to give, advocate and volunteer. Its mission is to mobilize the caring power of the Mohawk Valley by connecting people, resources, and ideas to create a thriving community. United Way funds area programs and initiatives addressing crucial community issues in the impact areas of health, education, and financial stability.

United Way of the Mohawk Valley helps thousands of individuals and families throughout Oneida and Herkimer Counties 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 funding each year. United Way is a leader in innovation through projects and programs such as childcare through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), Ready for Kindergarten, and 211.

For information about United Way of the Mohawk Valley, to donate or to get involved visit unitedwaymv.org or call 315.733.4691.