UNICO Foundation

The UNICO Foundation Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation. This classification by the IRS allows various contributions to the Foundation to be tax-deductible. The Foundation was incorporated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1962.

The purpose of the Foundation is to receive, accept and make gifts, donations, grants, award scholarships, fellowships and the like for charitable, educational, literary and religious purposes.

Scholarships are our number one project. Each year the Foundation grants over 25 scholarships.For a listing of our scholarships please visit the Scholarship page on this website.


We have made substantial grants to:

  • Cooley's Anemia,

  • Mental Health Organizations 

  • Cancer Research including the Jimmy V Foundation and St. Jude's Hospital

  • Funds for Disaster Relief

For our grant application, please click here. For a Food/Shelter grant application, see below.  


The Foundation has also been instrumental in raising funds for various Italian Studies Chairs:

  • University of Connecticut, (Storrs, CT),

  • Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ),

  • Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ),

  • California State University at Long Beach,

  • Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY)

  • State University of New York at Stony Brook.

  • Pending Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois.

Every member of UNICO National is also a member of the Foundation.


Ralph J. Torraco

Food Bank/Shelter Fund Grant 

Mission:  To feed the hungry and provide shelter for those homeless or the indigent.

Funding Criteria:  To provide funds through community established food/shelter programs that provide food and shelter to those in need.

Who is Eligible:  Food Pantries or soup kitchens/shelters that serve people in need. Agencies supporting communities through rescue efforts. Community based innovative efforts aimed at reducing hunger and assists the needy to find shelter. Organization seeking grant must be a 501(c)3

Grant Guidelines:  The program should not be located in a private home, and must meet all local and State health department regulations. The food/shelter program should have an established track record of providing food and or shelter to low-income clientele. Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens or Shelters should use 100% of the grant to purchase food or provide shelter not for operating or salary costs. The program must be located in the United States and serve people in the United States.

Deadline: Grants must be received by the UNICO National Office 60 days prior to each Board of Director’s meetings which occur in March and July/August. The UNICO National Office can provide those dates.

Please Click here for a Food/Shelter Grant Application Paper Application.

For the online version: Click here.



Advanced Placement Italian

UNICO National and the other Italian and Italian American organizations have worked very hard and spent a good deal of money to grow this program. Below is a list of recommends that can be followed to help increase the number of students taking the AP Italian exam:

  • Instructors and courses: Need more courses of Italian.  In order to do this, besides direct contacts with principals, superintendents and other school authorities, funding and certified teachers are essential.

  • In order to obtain additional funding, there must be a new campaign geared at raising awareness among Italian and Italian American associations, organizations and companies.  Each of these, in particular the larger ones, could "adopt a course, a school, or a teacher".

  • Scholarships could be offered for participation in courses organized by the CB or other institutions, on the teaching of AP Italian, giving priority to those teachers without prior AP experience.

  • Recognize teachers who get the greatest number of students to register for the AP Italian exam, as well as those whose students obtain the highest scores on the AP Italian exam by presenting them with a cash award or an official recognition at the appropriate Consulate or at the Embassy.

  • Students could meet with principals of schools offering Italian courses, but not at the AP level, and ask for their support in opening new AP level courses.

  • Inform teachers of non-AP Italian courses, as well as of the international schools that do not offer AP Italian that Italian students, or students of Italian descent, can take the AP Italian exam without having taken a specific course.

  • Inform families, students and teachers that students, who take AP Italian together with two other AP courses, can matriculate at an Italian university to pursue their university studies.

  • Cover the registration fee for the AP Italian exam ($89) for needy students.


Please visit www.usspeaksitalian.org for additional insights and information.


Grant Recipients

As of July 2018

Food Bank and Shelter Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Cancertacular in Archbald, PA                                            $1,000.00

  • Feed My People in St. Louis, MO                                         $1,000.00

  • Safe Haven in Waterbury, CT                                               $1,000.00

  • St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre, PA               $1,000.00

  • Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, NJ                                 $1,000.00

  • Touch My Heart Food Bank in Chicago, IL                         $1,000.00

  • St. James Roman Catholic Church in Totowa, NJ              $   700.00

  • St. Patrick’s Parish in Scranton, PA                                      $   500.00

  • Rockaway Food Closet in Rockaway, NJ                              $   250.00

  • St. Ambrose Society in St. Louis, MO                                   $   250.00

Italian Studies:

Casa Italiana Language School in Washington, DC  $2500


Contact Christopher DiMattio, Foundation Chair at cdimattio@comcast.net