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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 Herkimer and Oneida 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 ongoing need for this assistance, the Utica National Group Foundation’s screening committee felt that this third round of awards was very 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 nonprofits make meals available is our heartfelt way to say, ‘thank you,’ for all that they do every day to help others.”

“This award from the Utica National Group Foundation Fund means so much to so many. It’s unique because its impact is three-pronged—benefitting residents who need food, while also supporting the nonprofits that distribute the food, as well as local restaurants that are preparing the meals,” said Alicia Dicks, president/CEO of the Community Foundation. “Its 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.”

“Rescue Mission of Utica is pleased to partner with Utica National Group Foundation Fund and the Community Foundation to provide delicious meals to our friends and neighbors in need,” said Susan Woods, director of development and communications at Rescue Mission of Utica. “The grant is a threefold win. It provides business to local restaurants, it gives our food services staff who have been working through the pandemic a much needed rest, and most importantly it provides clients with tasty meals from Utica’s finest local restaurants.”


The award recipients include:


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 – Herkimer        

Salvation Army - 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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2608 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13502


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