Devils Youth Foundation Awards UCC $100K Grant To Fight Hunger In Newark

NEWARK, NJ – (June 27, 2023)  — United Community Corporation (UCC) is continuing its mission in making sure no Greater Newark community member goes hungry with the support of a grant award from the Devils Youth Foundation.

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 UCC 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.

“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,” said Craig Mainor, UCC Executive Director. “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.”

“Supporting the United Community Corporation’s food distribution services, nutrition education and cooking workshops reflects the Devils Youth Foundation’s mission to combat food insecurity across our communities,” said Kate Whitman Annis, Executive Director of the Devils Youth Foundation. “We recognize the great efforts of the United Community Corporation 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.”

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.

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 towards 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.

Launched in January 2022, UCC’s community refrigerator initiative aims to tackle food insecurity head-on by installing units across each of Newark’s five wards. The refrigerators, each located outside, provide residents with around-the-clock access to staple goods such as milk, juice, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, all at no cost.

The initiative expanded since the first refrigerator was installed at 106 Ann St. in the city’s East Ward, which now includes units at South 8th Street, Avon