North Carolina Community-Based Organizations Receive $75,000 in Grants from UnitedHealthcare to Improve Access to Healthy, Affordable Food

  • Grants focus on training, education and increasing access to
    healthy food to help North Carolinians live healthier lives
  • North Carolina ranks 43rd in the nation for senior hunger and
    has a higher prevalence of food insecurity than the national average

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UnitedHealthcare has donated $75,000 to three organizations in North
Carolina to help improve access to healthy, affordable food throughout
the state.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC in Winston-Salem, MANNA FoodBank
in Asheville and OIC Family Medical Center in Rocky Mount will each
receive a $25,000 grant to implement innovative and timely programs to
address food insecurity in the communities they serve.

The grants are part of UnitedHealthcare’s ongoing effort to identify and
support organizations in North Carolina that help seniors, individuals
with disabilities and disadvantaged people live healthier lives.

“These organizations are implementing important programs in North
Carolina that are making a difference in the lives of many individuals
and families who need a helping hand,” said Anita Bachmann, vice
president of UnitedHealthcare. “Through their work in the community and
UnitedHealthcare’s support we are working together to help people live
healthier lives through education, training and outreach programs.”

Food insecurity is a reality for many North Carolinians, particularly
among children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. According to America’s
Health Rankings®
, North Carolina ranks 43rd out of 50
states for senior hunger. The state faces a higher prevalence of food
insecurity than the national average, with several cities ranking among
the highest in the country, including Greensboro, High Point, Asheville
and Winston-Salem. There are 349 food deserts in 80 counties statewide.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC will use the $25,000
grant to implement a program to provide customized, healthy meal boxes
and nutrition education/budgeting classes to patients identified as food
insecure by Wake Forest Baptist Health-Downtown Health Plaza in
Winston-Salem and Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson. The health
centers will screen more than 11,000 people for food insecurity, and the
food bank will provide up to 1,700 patients with a customized, healthy
meal box and a referral for continued food assistance, nutrition
education and smart-shopping classes. In Jefferson, Ashe County Sharing
Center will serve as a partner in the program.

“UnitedHealthcare’s support is so important as we work to provide
increased access to healthy food for community members in need,” said
Clyde Fitzgerald, executive director, Second Harvest Food Bank. “This
grant increases service to individuals with specific health needs who
are struggling to afford sufficient, healthy food to maintain and
improve their health.”

The $25,000 grant for MANNA FoodBank will be used to expand its
successful MANNA Express program. MANNA Express is an innovative
“just-in-time” distribution system that uses volunteer drivers to bring
fresh, perishable foods like produce, dairy and fresh/frozen meats to
hunger relief agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties. The goal
of MANNA Express is to increase service to reach up to 180 people per
week, distribute 2,500 pounds of nutritious food per week and improve
food choices for clients.

“We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s support of our MANNA Express
program,” said Hannah Randall, CEO, MANNA Food Bank. “We serve some very
remote areas of our state and have seen a growth in demand from local
agencies for more fresh fruits and vegetables. This grant will go a long
way in supporting our efforts to deliver fresh and perishable items to
people in need while promoting healthier diets.”

OIC Family Medical Center of Rocky Mount will use its $25,000
grant to provide more than 150 low-income residents in Nash and
Edgecombe counties who have diabetes and/or another chronic disease with
weekly nutrition education classes, fresh produce to take home, and
intensive case management services for clients who have diabetes. The
program aims to improve diabetes self-management and increase patients’
knowledge about healthy eating and nutrition.

“For patients with diabetes and other types of chronic disease,
maintaining a healthy diet is critical, but the learning curve can be
very steep, which is why this grant from UnitedHealthcare is so
important,” said Reuben Blackwell, president and CEO of OIC. “Reaching
these individuals and providing nutrition education classes and other
programs will help people in these communities.”

The $75,000 in grants were announced at the Second Harvest Food Bank
Northwest NC and MANNA FoodBank where UnitedHealthcare employees joined
community leaders, food bank executives and local volunteers in
organizing food distribution and loading delivery trucks to support
individuals and families supported through the programs.

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1.3 million North Carolinians enrolled
in employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare health plans with a
network of 142 hospitals and more than 28,000 physicians and other care
providers statewide.

About UnitedHealthcare
is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by
simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and
wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care
providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit
programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees
and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 1 million physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more
information, visit UnitedHealthcare at
or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for UnitedHealth Group.


Alice Ferreira, 203-459-7775