Utica National Group Foundation Grant Addresses Effect of Pandemic Impact
$250,000 Awarded to Community Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens
July 1, 2020 – Utica, New York
The Utica National Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Utica National Insurance Group, announced today it has awarded $250,000 to nearly three dozen food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Herkimer and Oneida counties. The Utica National Group Foundation partnered with The Community Foundation of Oneida & Herkimer Counties to identify the need and to distribute the individual grants.
The Utica National Group Foundation was created in 1987 in anticipation of the 75th anniversary in 1989 of the Utica Mutual Insurance Company, the lead company of the Utica National Insurance Group. In 2014, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Utica Mutual, the Utica National Group Foundation donated $1 million to The Community Foundation to create a donor-advised fund intended to address the community’s greatest needs.
This spring, the Utica National Group Foundation donated over $75,000 to address food insecurity issues resulting from impacts of the global pandemic and partnered with The Community Foundation at that time as well. With food insecurity concerns projected to worsen this summer, this additional $250,000 grant will support organizations helping families in need.
“During these difficult times, helping to minimize the food insecurity in our communities and helping local restaurants weather the storm is vital,” said Bernard Turi, Chair of the Foundation’s Screening Committee and Utica National’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel, General Auditor, and Chief Risk Officer. “We appreciate all that the nonprofit organizations do on a daily basis for everyone, and this is our way of giving back to them.”
“Our nonprofit partners out there providing these important services to the community act as our eyes and ears,” said Alicia Dicks, President/CEO of The Community Foundation. “We are hearing from the food pantries and kitchens that they are seeing increased traffic, in some cases double or even triple the volume they would normally receive in a month. This generous contribution from Utica National is one that will be invaluable to these organizations and the families that they serve.”
The funds awarded will be used to provide individual meals from local restaurants for the soup kitchens and will restock food pantries’ shelves with essentials.
“We are incredibly grateful for Utica National’s generosity and supporting our community in this way,” said Matt Miller, executive director of Rome Rescue Mission. “Our hearts broke when restaurants had to close during this difficult time, many of them donating food to us as they had to close their doors and lay off staff. Having the ability to now turn the tables and support them is a privilege for us as we come together to serve our less fortunate populations.”
The grants recipients include:
About the Community Foundation
Founded in 1952, The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties envisions a vibrant region with opportunity for all. In fulfillment of its “Engage. Invest. Lead” mission, The Community Foundation has transformed decades of donor generosity into $85 million invested in social impact initiatives, collaborative leadership and grantmaking. Find out more at foundationhoc.org or call 315-735-8212.
About Utica National Insurance Group
The Utica National Group Foundation was established by Utica Mutual Insurance Company in 1987. Utica National Insurance Group is a nationally recognized group of insurance companies, providing personal and commercial insurance products and services, with the second-largest errors and omissions business in the United States. The Utica National companies sell their products through more than 2,500 independent insurance agents and employ more than 1,300 people countrywide. The Utica Mutual Insurance Company, the principal company of the Group, was founded in 1914 and is headquartered in New Hartford, New York, with 11 offices.