When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, millions of Floridians were left without access to nutritious and affordable food. The lack of food access affected many people for the first time – from farmers and small business owners to people in the service industry, and many more. With so many people left wondering where their next meal would come from, UnitedHealth Group stepped in to ensure that no Floridian would be left hungry during a time of unprecedented struggle.
As part of its commitment to support impacted communities that were hit hard by the pandemic, UnitedHealth Group donated $500,000 to Feeding Florida to work with farmers and restaurants across the state to harvest, prepare and distribute healthy food to those most in need, support school-based meal programs, partner with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to distribute food to seniors, and help replenish food banks.
“To address the food insecurity crisis that was emerging, we identified reputable organizations that could quickly get food in the hands, mouths and stomachs of those who needed assistance,” Michael Lawton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida. “Through the United Health Foundation, we were honored to contribute $500,000 to Feeding Florida’s efforts which delivered 2.2 million pounds of food products to food banks and school districts throughout the state in 2020. We also value the organization’s efforts around sustainability, including the Farmers Feeding Florida produce recovery initiative that makes wholesome, fresh food available that may otherwise go unused.”
The belief that food is medicine is seen throughout UnitedHealth Group’s efforts to improve the overall health of its members.
“We know that overall health is comprised of far more than medical care. Social determinants of health, including lack of access to food, housing, and transportation, play a significant role in influencing a person’s health and well-being,” said Lawton. “That’s why we also think about food as medicine. We help organizations provide healthy, fresh food to individuals and families by investing in refrigeration, training, mobile food pantries and meal delivery programs across the country.”
To learn more about UnitedHealth Group and the lifesaving aid it provides, visit UnitedHealthGroup.com.