New York Giants Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s Dreambuilders program, Blessings in a Backpack and UnitedHealthcare are providing healthy meals to 250 children at PS 15 in Manhattan, and PS 502 and PS 102 in Brooklyn every weekend for a year.
Dreambuilders and UnitedHealthcare today kicked off the second year of their “food for children” collaborative with fun-filled, healthy activities for students at PS 15. Students pedaled blender bikes, making healthy smoothies for Rodgers-Cromartie to taste-test. He also took students through some football-style warm-ups; threw the football with the students; and talked to them about the importance of being physically active and staying healthy.
“Access to healthy foods and staying active are critical to helping kids reach their full potential,” said Rodgers-Cromartie, who launched his Dreambuilders program in 2014. “Through our work with Blessings in a Backpack and UnitedHealthcare, children at these three schools will continue to receive bags of food they can eat over the weekend that will give them the energy they need to be kids.”
“Programs such as Dreambuilders help address a significant need in our communities – giving children access to healthy food,” said Michael McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New York. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Dreambuilders and Blessings in a Backpack to help children develop a lifelong commitment to good health.”
From 2011 to 2013, nearly 500,000 – or one in four – children in New York City lived in households that did not have an adequate food supply, according to a 2014 study by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
“It is through the generous support of organizations like Dreambuilders and UnitedHealthcare that we can provide backpacks of food to children so they can have food they need during those times when free or reduced-priced school lunches are not available,” said Brooke Wiseman, CEO, Blessings in a Backpack.
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, serves nearly 4 million residents across New York with a care provider network of 253 hospitals and 75,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
About the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Dreambuilders Program
As a program under the umbrella of the Dreambuilders Foundation, New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie started his Dreambuilders program to provide essential nutrition to kids in need in New York. The program provides backpacks of healthy foods and snacks for in-need children to take home over the weekends, when they may not otherwise have access to nutritious meals. His program also will support St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and its efforts to find cures and save children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
About Blessings in a Backpack
Blessings in a Backpack, People Magazines Charity of 2012, is a results-oriented program that is designed to feed elementary school children whose families qualify for the federally funded National School Lunch Program and have little or no food on the weekends. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program. As little as $100 feeds one American school child in our program for an entire 38-week school year. Blessings in a Backpack is currently feeding more than 80,000 children across 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. (see all at blessingsinabackpack.org/programlocations).
We are Feeding the Future of America® – one school at a time.
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 850,000 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 www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.