The United Health Foundation has committed $1 million to provide urgent assistance to New Jersey residents experiencing food insecurity as they face unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey is part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) previously announced initial $50 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support those most directly impacted, including health care workers, hard-hit communities, seniors and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.
“The COVID-19 public health emergency has compounded the many challenges faced by New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents, such as those experiencing hunger or food insecurity,” said Charles Wayland, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, New Jersey. “Our partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey will provide critical aid to those who need it most.”
The $1 million grant to the Food Bank of South Jersey will provide support for additional staff to prepare emergency food bags and boxes to deliver in underserved communities, provide two weeks’ worth of food supplies for seniors and deliver them to senior housing facilities, and supply additional resources and support to local food banks in southern New Jersey.
“Our mission is to provide an immediate solution to the urgent problem of hunger by providing food to people in need, teaching them to eat nutritiously and helping them find sustainable ways to improve their lives. We have recently experienced a 200% increase in need across our 185 agencies in four counties,” said Fred C. Wasiak, president and chief executive officer, Food Bank of South Jersey. “Our partnership with the United Health Foundation will enable us to expand our reach and better meet the needs of our communities during this crisis.”
UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation, has a long history of addressing food insecurity — a key determinant of health among vulnerable populations in New Jersey and across the country. The United Health Foundation recently announced $5 million in national partnerships with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the Feeding America network of member food banks, and Meals on Wheels America as part of its commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities.
About Food Bank of South Jersey
Marking its 35th year in 2020, the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ) is the leader in providing safe and nutritional food to people in need throughout South Jersey. FBSJ distributes food, provides nutrition education and cooking courses, and helps food-insecure families and seniors find sustainable ways to improve their lives. Throughout 2019, FBSJ distributed over 15 million pounds of food, more than 230,000 summer meals and over 17,500 senior food boxes, as well as serving 95 health and wellness programs to more than 11,700 residents. Providing community impact through local support, FBSJ ensures that local donations stay local. FBSJ is a member of Feeding America, our nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. To learn more, visit www.foodbanksj.org.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.