CONTACT: Richard Greco, Director of Community Engagement, United Community Corporation, 908-358-8815


Newark - Both the United Community Corporation and the Newark Rotary Club have stepped up to help their communities during the coronavirus pandemic and in late September, the two organizations linked up to serve the City of Newark together. 

As part of its End Hunger 3.6 mission, the Newark Rotary Club donated 1,100 meals to the United Community Corporation. The meals consisted of oatmeal and macaroni and cheese, and were part of 4,300 meals that the club donated to Newark-based non-profit organizations.

“UCC is all about the community and the Newark Rotary Club’s mission is very similar to ours,” United Community Corporation Executive Director Craig Mainor said. “Any time that we have an opportunity to interact with or collaborate with another organization with the goal of helping the community, it is very important. The fact that they can bring us over 1,000 meals shows me that there are even more potential great opportunities for us to work together.”

The generous donation was made possible by Rotarian Uriel Burwell, who suggested UCC as a deserving recipient. After growing up in Newark, Burwell knows the struggles facing the city first-hand. He has worked closely with Mainor since the two were introduced three years ago when UCC began a plan to purchase 11 lots for affordable housing in Newark’s Central Ward. 

Burwell has been a very prominent urban real estate developer for affordable housing in Essex County and will serve as a co-developer to the United Community Village, which is set to break ground in January 2021.

While working closely together on the housing project, Burwell learned about all of United Community Corporation’s wide array of services. 

Since the pandemic began, UCC has been able to serve over 100-thousand individuals through daily food distributions at our Champion House food pantry, mass monthly distribution events (serving over 23-thousand individuals at each), smaller distribution events (serving over 1,000 individuals at each) and with the help of its 40-plus partners (local churches and fellow non-profit organizations). 
UCC also provides those infected with COVID with 14 days worth of food.

In addition to distributing food, United Community Corporation runs the Fulton Street emergency shelter, which has operated 24-hours during the pandemic. The community action agency also offers youth development programs, energy and heating assistance programs, housing assistance for renters and buyers, low-income housing, homeless prevention programs, victims of crime programs, case management, job training, senior service and family services.

Its numerous successful services made UCC pop into Burwell’s mind when the Newark Rotary Club began discussing the distribution of meals as part of its End Hunger 3.6 project.

“There is no other way to tackle poverty, the disparity in education and the wealth gap without partnering together to hold arms,” Burwell said. “In order for a poor child or low-income family to achieve its goals and dreams, they'll always need the basic essentials of food and a place to live. Without food and housing, education becomes less important and, of course, without a good education/health your failurs awaken you from your dreams.”

The Newark Rotary Club also distributed meals to Tree House Cares, the Salvation Army and the East Ward Community Center. It also acquired PPE for University Hospital, sent support to Wynonna House, developed a special program in education for girls in Kenya and is developing a technology project to connect senior citizens.

“I am very pleased to see our club so engaged with the local community,” Rotary Club of Newark President Rev Faria said. “It is a tradition that our club has enjoyed since its founding in 1910. The United Community Corporation is our latest partner to help us with our community service.”