For the fourth consecutive year, the Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare are teaming up to help tackle senior hunger in the Twin Cities. The partnership includes a number of opportunities for the public to donate both food and funds to help the one in 12 seniors in Minnesota who experience hunger.
Through the end of October, every dollar donated to Second Harvest Heartland by visiting 2harvest.org/seniorhelp will be matched by UnitedHealthcare, up to $40,000. Similarly, from Dec. 1 – 14, every dollar donated to Second Harvest Heartland by visiting 2harvest.org/vikings will be matched by UnitedHealthcare, up to $20,000. The second match aligns with the Vikings Food & Fund Drive, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., prior to the Vikings-Jets game at TCF Bank Stadium. UnitedHealthcare volunteers will collect nonperishable food items and financial donations at all TCF Bank Stadium entrances to benefit Second Harvest Heartland.
“The Vikings have a long-standing commitment to the fight against hunger, and we are proud of our ongoing partnership with Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare to address the critical needs of seniors in our community,” said Steve LaCroix, vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer of the Minnesota Vikings.
UnitedHealthcare and the Vikings will also team up on Tuesday, Dec. 9, when Viktor the Viking, Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders and Vikings players, including Pro Bowl Kicker Blair Walsh, will join UnitedHealthcare employees for a food-packing volunteer project at Second Harvest Heartland West, located at 6325 Sandburg Road in Golden Valley.
“UnitedHealthcare welcomes the opportunity to partner with Second Harvest Heartland and the Minnesota Vikings to ensure seniors have access to fresh, nutritious food,” said Tom Paul, chief consumer officer, UnitedHealthcare.
“Hunger continues to have too strong a hold on our senior population,” said Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. “But we can make a profound difference in seniors’ lives and on their livelihoods when we act together to support them. To that end, we are grateful for the continued support and leadership of UnitedHealthcare and the Minnesota Vikings as we strive to improve the lives of our local seniors.”
According to AARP, about 9 million older adults nationwide face the threat of hunger. Information from the Current Population Survey shows that from 2001 to 2011, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger increased by 88 percent nationwide. In Second Harvest Heartland’s 59-county service area in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, food shelf visits by people 65 and older have more than increased by 61 percent since 2008. Last year, there were nearly 65,000 senior visits to Second Harvest Heartland food shelf partners.
The activities are the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit www.DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.
About Second Harvest Heartland
Second Harvest Heartland is one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative food banks. In 2013, we delivered more than 65 million meals to nearly 1,000 food shelves, pantries and other agency partner programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Second Harvest Heartland helps relieve hunger not only by sourcing, warehousing and distributing food, but through data-driven thought leadership and community partnerships that help improve the region’s larger hunger relief system. For more information, visit 2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.
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 and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.