September 10, 2021


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Newark, NJ – September 10, 2021 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Public Schools, and Amerigroup partnered to host a “Welcome Back to School” Giveaway and Resource event at Rafael Hernandez Elementary School, located at 345 Broadway, today.

At the giveaway, the City, Amerigroup, and United Community Corporation (UCC) gave out bags full of school supplies to youth on a first-come, first-served basis. UCC provided groceries to families. Everyone in attendance was able to learn about Amerigroup Medicare and Medicaid benefits and receive COVID-19 education and vaccinations from St. James Health. There were also games.

“This giveaway was an important part of our ‘Back Together Again’ initiative, helping our youth receive the support they need to have a successful school year and our families in need with food,” Mayor Baraka said. “As a lifelong educator in the Newark Public Schools system, I understand the importance of providing our youth with the supplies they need to get a good education. I thank our partners for their support of today’s ‘Welcome Back to School Giveaway.’”

“We have joined with several important partners to ensure that our youth can start the school year with the tools they need, and their families with groceries to help them lead healthier lives,” Deputy Mayor Quiles said. “We are committed to the success of our youth as they enter this school year and become adults.”

“UCC is especially excited about collaborating with the City of Newark, which has seen so many achievements economically for its residents and continues to work to provide resources to people in order to help them pull themselves and their families out of poverty. UCC is here specifically to do just that. The fact that the City, Mayor Ras Baraka and the council members recognize that UCC is an agency that is here to meet those needs, falls within our goals and aspirations as an agency,” said UCC Executive Director Craig Mainor.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the city of Newark for organizing this incredible event and I want to thank each of the sponsors for their support of our students and families. The start of every school year is exciting and the support that families are receiving is to be commended,” said Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger León.

This year, Amerigroup will donate more than 10,000 school supplies to youth across New Jersey to support a successful transition back to school.

“Amerigroup is committed to improving lives and communities, and that includes helping kids with a successful start to the school year. Amerigroup is grateful for the opportunity to partner with various community organizations to ensure all needs are met, including access to food, COVID-19 vaccinations and critical health information,” said Amerigroup New Jersey Director of Member Engagement and Growth Anya Nawrocky.

Click here for photographs of the event.

About United Community Corporation:

UCC has been the Community Action Agency of the City of Newark since it was created in 1964. Since that time, UCC has provided residents of Newark and Essex County with a wide umbrella of services including two homeless shelters, two food and clothing pantries, homeless prevention, rapid rehousing, rental/mortgage assistance, housing assistance, low-income housing development and maintenance, energy assistance, lead-paint abatement, job training and preparedness, and youth, family, and senior services. While UCC was always well known, it stepped up during the pandemic and has served over 250,000 people since March 2020.