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Press Release: Feeding Florida to Increase Food Access in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities Across the Sunshine State with Simply Healthcare Plans $300,000 Investment

Press Release: Feeding Florida to Increase Food Access in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities Across the Sunshine State with Simply Healthcare Plans $300,000 Investment

Mobile food distribution in Pensacola provided nutritious food to 200 families living in high-poverty areas.

 

Pensacola, FL – Feeding the Gulf Coast, a member of the Feeding Florida network, in partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), hosted a mobile food distribution to provide nutritious and shelf-stable food items for 200 Pensacola families living in high-poverty zip codes. This is one in a series of events across the state to combat hunger relief leveraging Simply’s $300,000 investment over two years.

“Eating nutritious food is essential to maintain an active lifestyle and ensure positive health outcomes,” said Holly Prince, President of Simply. “Yet access to healthy food options is often elusive for far too many families in Florida, especially with hardships stemming from the pandemic and soaring food prices. That is why Simply is proud to support Feeding Florida and Feeding the Gulf Coast in our shared commitment to serving our communities through ongoing hunger relief efforts and combatting food insecurity.”

“Good health starts with access to healthy foods,” said State Representative Michelle Salzman. “Record-high inflation, however, has increased prices on essential items, making it difficult for families to afford good wholesome meals. I am grateful for Simply’s role in supporting Florida families, combatting hunger, and improving the health and wellness in our communities. This Hunger Action Month, let’s all do our part to provide relief to those in need.”

September marks Hunger Action Month, an opportunity to raise awareness for the fight against hunger and invite individuals and organizations to take part in the effort. 

Today’s food distribution strategically targeted families living in the 32505 and 32501 zip codes, which have the highest poverty rates in Escambia County at 46.7% and 56.2%, respectively. Families were provided with fresh produce, frozen meat and dairy products. 

“Putting food on the table can become an impossible choice for families,” says Michael Ledger, President and CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast. “This is an impactful opportunity to provide some relief and nutritious meals for families across our community. We are grateful for the partnership between Simply, Feeding Florida, and Brownsville Church to make this event happen.”

Simply’s partnership with Feeding Florida began in 2021 when Simply donated $100,000 to support the organization’s efforts to combat food insecurity and increase food access. This year, Simply increased its investment an additional $200,000 to Feeding Florida to implement strategic placement of interventions that will increase access to healthy food options. 

“We have leveraged extensive research to inform our strategy and help Simply target areas with a high missing meal count to meet the nutritional needs and overcome the barriers that keep families hungry,” said Robin Safley, executive director of Feeding Florida. “With Simply’s generous investment in our mission, we’ve put this data to work to provide nutrition food options to families who need our help the most. And the impact of this work stretches beyond hunger relief to improve overall wellness for those who are disproportionally affected by chronic health conditions.” 

Simply’s $300,000 investment over two years has funded meals for more than 12,000 families. Distributions were coordinated by three Feeding Florida network food banks- Feeding the Gulf Coast, Feeding South Florida, and Feeding Tampa Bay- specifically serving Winter Haven, Auburndale, Allapattah, Hialeah, Panama City and Pensacola. At each event, nutritious foods were available to promote healthy eating. 

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About Simply Healthcare Plans
Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. (“Simply”), is a Florida managed health care plan that serves Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members in the state of Florida. In addition, Simply, through a line of business called Clear Health Alliance, also serves Florida Medicaid members who are living with HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to provide healthcare and related services that are comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Each and every day, members of our team can be found in Florida communities, listening to our members, interacting with our health care providers and partnering with community-based organizations. Our goal is to ensure members and entire communities are empowered to become active participants in their health care and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Simply, visit www.simplyhealthcareplans.com.

About Feeding the Gulf Coast
Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank, serves a 24-county area spanning the Florida panhandle, south Alabama, and south Mississippi. In 2021, the food bank distributed more than 27.5 million meals through more than 400 church pantries, soup kitchens, and other nonprofit organizations throughout its service area. The food bank also operates multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs, including Summer Meals, Afterschool Meal, Backpack, Disaster Relief, Mobile Pantry and Produce Drop Distributions and Nutrition Education. Feeding the Gulf Coast is a United Way member agency and a member of Feeding America and Feeding Florida. For more information, visit 
www.feedingthegulfcoast.org.   

About Feeding Florida 
Feeding Florida is the state's leading organization in the fight to end hunger. The statewide network unites 12-member Feeding America food banks to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply to every community every day. Feeding Florida member food banks support the state's 67 counties with more than 2,400 local charitable agencies. Feeding Florida’s member food banks include: All Faiths Food Bank, Bread of the Mighty, Feeding Northeast Florida, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding the Gulf Coast, First Step Food Bank, Florida Gateway Food Bank, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Treasure Coast Food Bank.

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