UnitedHealthcare awarded the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank a $375,000 grant to help address food insecurity, modernize the food bank’s database systems and connect San Diegans countywide to vital community services, including housing and employment services.
“One in seven San Diegans struggles with food insecurity, meaning almost half a million people, from children to seniors, might not know where their next meal is coming from,” said James Floros, CEO, San Diego Food Bank. “This grant will increase the availability of nutritious food options and enhance Food Bank client dignity with improved database systems that reduce wait times and registration redundancies.”
The grant will help the San Diego Food Bank expand its Feeding Everyone with Equity & Dignity (FEED) database pilot program – currently used at 82 Food Bank sites – to an additional 50 sites this year. Through the expansion, the food bank will support the delivery of more than 10 million pounds of food. Since its implementation, FEED has reduced the food bank’s wait times from a few hours to 20 minutes or less and has streamlined the registration process for Food Bank clients.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with San Diego Food Bank to address hunger-related issues and other social determinants of health in the county,” said Kevin Kandalaft, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California. “This grant supports the food bank’s capacity to provide nutritious food and direct resources to vulnerable San Diegans to help them live healthier lives.”
San Diego Food Bank clients visiting select sites will be issued a personalized food ID card, similar to a library card, to eliminate repeat registration requirements across multiple sites. For example, once issued an ID card, clients can access food at other Food Bank sites using the database without having to provide basic household information or complete duplicate paperwork.
The grant will also help the San Diego Food Bank enhance its 2-1-1 Community Information Exchange (CIE), which connects people to vital community services. More than 114,000 additional clients will be empowered with greater access to tools from CIE partners for needs including housing, legal help and employment services.
The announcement was made by Kevin Kandalaft and James Floros during a press conference at Friendships for Hope, a food distribution site in National City. San Diego Food Bank teams demonstrated the use of the new ID card, and employee volunteers from UnitedHealthcare helped hundreds of community members in the food distribution line as they registered for their new ID cards.
UnitedHealthcare has launched community initiatives and participated in numerous public-private partnerships nationwide to address various social determinants of health including food insecurity, access to transportation, and safe and affordable housing.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.
About the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
Established in 1977, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is a critical component to the welfare of San Diego County, providing food to people in need, advocating for the hungry and educating the public about hunger-related issues. Through a combination of programs and partnerships with more than 500 San Diego County nonprofit charities, the Food Bank acts as a central repository and distribution point for donated food. The Food Bank distributed 28 million pounds of food in the Financial Year 2017-2018 to individuals, families and a network of nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate hunger throughout the county. Visit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank at: www.sandiegofoodbank.org.