The Devils Youth Foundation, which serves as the charitable arm for the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, recently awarded a $100,000 grant to United Community Corp. to support the agency’s community refrigerator initiative and ongoing nutritional programming.
The foundation also raised an additional $80,000 through the first round of the NHL playoffs for another community refrigerator and $60,000 through the second round of the playoffs for a food delivery truck. These efforts brought a total of $240,000 in funding to back UCC’s efforts in mitigating hunger in Greater Newark.
UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor obviously was thrilled.
“We could not be more grateful for the generous grant award, funds raised and support from the Devils Youth Foundation that will allow UCC to create greater accessibility for fresh, nutritional food in Newark for thousands of people,” he said.
“Whether it’s installing another community refrigerator or educating youth about proper nutrition and health and wellness, we want to ensure that we uplift community members through this award to transform each ward of the city.”
The Devils Youth Foundation’s focus on creating long-term strategic relationships allows its partners like UCC to help implement programs and initiatives that will increase access to healthy food options and education for the community’s most underserved.
This year, the foundation supported 24 grantees with $895,000 to improve quality of life for New Jersey’s youth. The foundation looks to grow its impact in the community by backing partners like UCC with funds to support the expansion of the agency’s community refrigerator program and to launch youth nutrition education and healthy cooking workshops.
United Community Corp., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been providing services for over five decades to bring about positive change in the lives of the people it serves and in the health of the community. UCC operates to assist low-income, disadvantaged and at-risk individuals and families, including seniors and youth. UCC continues to expand and improve its services, which include: an emergency shelter with case management, a program for the socioeconomic wellbeing of seniors, low-income housing and a range of high-quality after-school and summer camp programs for youth. For more information or to donate, click here.
Executive Director Kate Whitman Annis said supporting the United Community Corp.’s food distribution services, nutrition education and cooking workshops reflects the Devils Youth Foundation’s mission to combat food insecurity.
“We recognize the great efforts of the United Community Corp. and are thankful for the opportunity to partner with them for the Community Fridge Campaign and other educational initiatives that reach youth and their families throughout Newark,” she said.
Food insecurity is an issue that reaches each of Newark’s five wards. In 2022, sections of each ward were designated as “food deserts” by the state Economic Development Authority. A food desert is defined as a region where people have limited access to healthy and affordable food.
Since UCC was established in 1964, its staff and volunteers have undertaken multiple initiatives to assist and feed the city’s most vulnerable residents. The nonprofit hosts routine distribution events in the city, where fresh groceries and boxed foods are a staple at any event alongside providing other outreach resources.
The grant funds will be allocated toward UCC’s current healthy food distribution services, which includes four community refrigerators located in public areas of high-need neighborhoods to increase access to food.