Unique Snacks raises money from pretzel sales to support military charity

To raise money for the nonprofit Folds of Honor and support its mission to create scholarships for the spouses and children of wounded and fallen service members and first responders, Reading-based Unique Snacks designed a specially branded package of its 11-ounce Original Splits pretzels.

In 2022, Unique Snacks sold 251,796 of these packages, featuring a red, white and blue design with stars and stripes and the Folds of Honor logo, raising $12,589.80. Unique Snacks donates five cents from each purchase to Folds of Honor.

The funds raised by the local Folds of Honor chapter are used to create scholarships for the spouses and children of service members and first responders living in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“Throughout the pandemic and the following uncertainties in our nation, we continually hear about people’s struggles, but we rarely hear about the hardships our service members’ or first responders’ families face,” Justin Spannuth, chief operating officer of Unique Snacks, said in a release. “Many of these families are dealing with the loss of a loved one and that impact on the immediate family. … We are calling on our retail partners and loyal customers to participate in this crucial program and make 2023 the year we raise the highest amount of support for our military and first responder families.”

The annual Folds of Honor campaign runs from May through August at many retail partners, including Boyer’s Food Markets, Central Market, Giant Eagle, Giant Foods, The Giant Co., Meijer, Reasor’s, Redner’s Markets, Stop & Shop, ShopRite, The Fresh Market, Tops Friendly Markets, Total Wine & More, Weis Markets and several other independent chains. The special packages are also available on Amazon.com, all military base commissaries in the nation through the Defense Commissary Agency and on Unique Snacks’ website throughout the year.

Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 44,000 scholarships, 41% to minority recipients.

Founded as Unique Pretzel Bakery more than a century ago, Unique Snacks is a sixth-generation family-operated business that rebranded in 2020 to pursue growth in other healthy snack categories.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

M&T Bank commits more than $1.2M to community projects

M&T Bank will provide more than $1.2 million to 42 initiatives serving distressed communities/low-income neighborhoods in the commonwealth – several of which are in central Pennsylvania or the Lehigh Valley – through the state’s Neighborhood Assistance Program.

The bank’s commitment is among the $36 million Gov. Tom Wolf recently approved for the program, which provides tax credits to businesses like M&T that donate capital to support the projects approved to use NAP funding for affordable housing, community services, crime prevention, education, job training, food access, blight, special population issues, veterans’ initiatives or long-term community revitalization.

The projects M&T will help support through NAP include:

· $25,000 to HDC Mid-Atlantic for the ongoing development of its College Avenue affordable housing project in Lancaster;

· $25,000 to Kutztown Small Business Development Center to assist entrepreneurs and small-business owners gain access to resources and information needed to launch or grow their businesses;

· $10,000 for Midwest Food Bank in Middletown to provide food rescue and distribution to more than 137,000 hungry individuals in central Pennsylvania;

· $50,000 for WEPA Empowerment Center to establish a bilingual community-based workforce development center in Lebanon city.

“M&T supports the Neighborhood Assistance Program as an innovative way to spur community development and revitalization throughout Pennsylvania,” Gail D’Angelo, M&T’s community reinvestment manager for Pennsylvania, said in a release. “We look forward to working with our partner organizations that were approved for NAP this year and witnessing the tremendous impact they will make in their respective communities.”

Buffalo-based M&T Bank has participated in the NAP program for years, with increased commitments in each of the past three years. In fiscal 2022, which ended June 30, the bank provided $836,000 to 35 projects throughout the state.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Lehigh Valley Community Foundation names director of donor services

Carrie Krug Nedick


The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has named Carrie Krug Nedick as its new director of donor services.

Krug Nedick started with the foundation in January of last year as a donor services and program associate.

In her new role she will work with board members, donors, prospects and other members of the Community Foundation to develop the Foundation’s charitable fund pipeline.

She will focus on providing personalized service to steward relationships and implement family philanthropy initiatives.

Prior to joining the foundation, Krug Nedick worked in nonprofit administration and higher education fundraising, both on staff and as an independent consultant.

She served in marketing, development and outreach roles for the Allentown Symphony Association, and was a major gift officer for the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University.

Krug Nedick is a member of the board of managers of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and an officer of the board of Parkland Community Library.

She is also a Cub Scout den leader and sings with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.

Penn Community Bank, Bucks United Way, establish COVID-19 fund

The fund will target issues such as food insecurity that may be made worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES –

Penn Community Bank in Perkasie said it is working with United Way of Bucks County to create a Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help those who experience a financial crisis from the pandemic.

“The funds are intended to be filling gaps that will arise as a result of these circumstances,” said Todd Hurley, the bank’s chief relationship officer. “There were already people who were food insecure before this. The trickle down of this is creating further hardship because people might be out of work because of it.”

Both the bank and the United Way are contributing $25,000 to help launch the fund, which will be managed by the United Way and be distributed through a review board of community leaders, including Hurley.

Money will be given to United Way agencies, such as food banks, to distribute where they see the need.

“These agencies already have the processes in place to help the community,” he said.

Over the coming weeks, these agencies that serve the community will face their own challenges in continuing their services and reaching the people that need help the most, Hurley said.

Because of social distancing, they may have limited volunteers on hand. There are also questions about how food gets distributed. “Some people can’t get out of their homes, how do we get food them?” Hurley said.

Organizers are soliciting funds for the campaign. Donations can be made to www.uwvbucks.org/covidecovery.

“As local businesses adjust their operations and staffing to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that many in our community will feel the hardship created by missed or reduced paychecks,” said Jeane M. Vidoni, president and CEO of Penn Community Bank. “Penn Community Bank is proud to pledge its support to the Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund. We know that many more businesses and organizations are looking for ways to help in this time of need, and this is it.”