Food distribution series brings meals to Utica residents

United Way of the Mohawk Valley is distributing 1,500 meal boxes Oct. 25, 2020, in Utica. This is the first of a three-part food distribution series hosted by United Way MV.

These unique meal boxes include ingredients to prepare five meals for a family of five with corresponding step-by-step recipe cards.

Meal boxes will be available to Utica residents by reservation. Families and individuals can reserve their meal box and receive full distribution pick-up location and time details by texting UticaFood to 898-211. For residents who are unable to text, they may call 844.-DIAL.211. The distribution will be a drive- or walk-through style pick-up.

United Way has partnered with Casa Imports and Karam Produce, allowing families to expect fresh produce, meat and other ingredients as part of their meal boxes. Each meal box will also include 50 disposable masks courtesy of Bank of America.

“Casa Imports and Karam Produce is excited to again partner in United Way MV’s community outreach efforts,” said Casa Import Director of Fresh Produce Operations Ryan Sunderlin. “We always appreciate the opportunity to assist local organizations to provide for families in need.”

United Way’s take-and-make meal box distribution series will put a total of 4,500 meal boxes in the homes of Utica residents. The series powered by United Way MV is funded through the Community Development Block Grant CV- CARES Act as part of COVID-19 relief efforts.

“With this funding, United Way MV created an opportunity to help bring healthy, fresh meals to the tables of thousands of families,” said United Way MV CEO Erin Gutierrez Matt. “Our ability to connect with local businesses and scale a project like this food distribution is an example of why United Way is such a valuable asset to the Mohawk Valley.”

COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Many people have felt a financial impact. Everyone should have access to life’s basic needs, such as food.

United Way is seeking volunteers to assist with packing and distributing meal boxes Oct. 23, Oct. 24 and Oct. 25. Volunteers can sign-up and get volunteer details through United Way’s Volunteers United online platform at

“We will need about 20 volunteers to help us lift this effort,” said United Way MV Director of Community Impact and 211 Betty-Joan Beaudry. “If you are looking for a way to volunteer to help residents of the Mohawk Valley, this is a great safe – yet hands on – opportunity.”

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By martha

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