Our friends at United Airlines are a consistent presence at the FoodBank, whether they’re volunteering their time, funding FoodBank programs, or donating food or other needed items.
Last summer, United made a generous $500,000 contribution to our Food Service Training Academy to help us reach more people in need of a second chance in Elizabeth, NJ, home of Newark Liberty International Airport, one of United’s hub cities. The FoodBank was selected as one of three organizations that received program support as part of a $2 million critical needs grant for workforce development initiatives within the local communities surrounding Newark Liberty International Airport. This funding has supported the recruitment and education of numerous Food Service Training Academy students from Elizabeth. The 15-week program has strong results: at the end of three months, 90 percent of graduates have secured employment.
United volunteers also work regularly in our warehouse, scooping bulk pasta and sorting donated food to be distributed to our neighbors in need. The Women Employee Resource group from United, uIMPACT, has brought over 30 empowered women to the FoodBank to volunteer, and most recently, we were joined by United’s entire Newark Liberty leadership team for their Executive Staff Volunteer Day.
Recognizing that our neighbors in need often struggle to afford more than just food, United provides other needed items to the FoodBank, as well. Earlier this month, they donated more than 20 pallets of amenity kits, which included toothpaste, toothbrushes, lip balm, and other essential hygiene items. Receiving these items through generous donations helps our hungry neighbors stretch their budgets a little bit further towards other necessities. Some of the amenity kits donated last year by United were also given to food banks outside of our service area to help families who had been displaced from their homes after Hurricane Florence struck.
“Whether they’re responding to emergencies or providing day-to-day support, United is ready to step in and help our neighbors in need at any given time,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “They are generous and skilled at identifying and responding to the needs of their local community. We are grateful to have them as a partner.”