Always United: Nourishing the Community

On any given day, the need for food assistance in Onondaga County is great. Because of your support of  United Way of Central New York, the network of services we fund includes 19 programs dedicated to alleviating hunger in our community all year long.

For example, in 2019 funding from United Way of Central New York to the Food Bank of CNY’s Retail Partnership Program helped to provide nearly a million pounds of food directly to 43 emergency food programs in Onondaga County.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a wave of uncertainty and unemployment to Central New York that drastically increased the need for food assistance and changed the landscape for local nonprofit agencies.

In response, United Way of Central New York, Central New York Community Foundation, Allyn Foundation, and other foundations as well as Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse, moved to create the COVID-19 Community Support Fund. Through civic and corporate donations, the fund has raised $1.5M and distributed over $800,000 to 65 local projects.

Funds have been used to bolster and expand the food efforts of many programs currently funded by United Way of Central New York’s Community Program Fund, including Syracuse Jewish Family Service’s AgeWise, Salvation Army of Syracuse’s Barnabas Residential, Booth House, and Transitional Apartments & Parenting Center, and Rescue Mission’s Food Service Center.

The COVID-19 Community Support Fund grants also provided additional capital to United Way of Central New York funded agencies, allowing them to quickly meet the growing demand for food by offering the flexibility to create new programs.

For an agency like P.E.A.C.E., Inc., the Community Support Fund offered the flexibility to create a Basic Needs Home Delivery Service by redeploying agency staff members and vehicles from suspended programs to deliver food and necessities to more than 100 low-income families who need to stay at home for their health and safety.

Joseph O’Hara, Executive Director of P.E.A.C.E., Inc., said, “In extraordinary times like the ones we are in now, we appreciate the ways in which the United Way both identifies resources and convenes partners to better help our community…We value the work of the United Way as a leader in our community.”

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an enormous increase in the number of people in our community needing food. Working together – UNITED – we remain strong.

#UnitedWeDoMore #AlwaysUnited