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UCC 'Friendsgiving' To Bring Turkeys, Mental Health Resources To Hundreds of Newarkers


originally published: 11/11/2022


(NEWARK, NJ) -- United Community Corporation wants to ensure that no Newarker goes hungry this holiday season, a time of year when many families face obstacles in putting a meal on their table. 

To combat hunger and reach out to underserved community members this holiday season, UCC will be giving out turkeys and chickens (while supplies last) at its “Friendsgiving” event on Monday, November 21 at West Side Park Football Field, located at the intersection of South 13th St. and 18th Avenue. The event, which will be held on the football field from noon - 4:00pm, is aimed to reach more than 400 community members.

“Food Distribution events really hit home for me especially during the holiday season,” UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor said. “Providing these groceries for many is the difference between something just to hold the family over or something that can bring the family together.”

After last year’s Friendsgiving event at West Side Park reached more than 800 community members, UCC is committed to providing as many resources as possible to residents at this year’s event. Alongside handing out turkeys and chickens, this year’s Friendsgiving will feature a produce distribution (while supplies last), guest speakers, music, and more.

The event is made possible with the support of UCC's partners, Amerigroup, West Ward Councilman Dupré Kelly, Newark Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Quiles, Community FoodBank of NJ, Nourishing Newark, and MEND.

This year’s Friendsgiving aims to do more than put food on peoples’ tables. While the holidays can be a time to rejoice and connect with loved ones, it can also be challenging for those impacted by mental illness and grief. In fact, 64% of people with mental illness reported that the holidays make their conditions worse, according to a report issued by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In response, UCC will be providing mental health vendors at the event.

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While community members are invited to come out and celebrate Friendsgiving, UCC also welcomes additional partners and vendors to team up for the event. For more information, email or call UCC Assistant Director of Community Engagement Tom Wiedmann at 973-642-0181 (Ext. 5448).

After Friendsgiving, UCC has more in store for community members this holiday season. UCC will be bringing back its "Shop With A Hero" event on Saturday, December 17. To get involved email or donate to the event, text “UCCHERO” to 44-321.

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