United Health Foundation Pledges $1 Million to Support Vulnerable New York Residents Amid COVID-19 Emergency

April 09, 2020
  • Partnerships with Food Bank For New York City and Care For the Homeless are part of initial $50 million commitment from UnitedHealth Group to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities

The United Health Foundation has committed $1 million to provide urgent assistance to New York residents experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as they face unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnerships with the Food Bank For New York City and Care For the Homeless are 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 York’s most vulnerable residents, such as those experiencing homelessness, hunger or food insecurity,” said Michael McGuire, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual, New York. “Our partnerships with the Food Bank For New York City and Care For the Homeless will provide critical aid to the communities that need it most.”

The partnerships in New York include:

  • $500,000 to Food Bank For New York City to support the bulk purchase of healthy food items and distribution efforts at schools, health facilities and NY City Housing Authority locations.
  • $500,000 to Care For the Homeless to address health workforce shortages resulting from staff having fallen ill or who are otherwise unable to work. These funds will also help meet the increased need for emergency supplies used to protect patients and staff.  

“The Food Bank For New York City is committed to ensuring New Yorkers in need have access to meals during times of crisis,” said Leslie Gordon, president and CEO, Food Bank For New York City. “As the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic continues, more New Yorkers are facing food insecurity – many for the first time. Our partnership with the United Health Foundation will enable us to provide food and other essentials to vulnerable New Yorkers across the five boroughs who are relying on us.”

“The COVID-19 emergency has imposed new challenges on our efforts to maintain our ability to support New York residents experiencing homelessness, including the need to protect and retain our health workers,” said George Nashak, president and CEO, Care For the Homeless. “This support from the United Health Foundation will allow us to remain available to our vulnerable patients and keep delivering essential services during this critical time.”

UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation, has a long history of addressing homelessness and food insecurity — key determinants of health among vulnerable populations in New York 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 For New York City

For 36 years, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provides food for more than 61 million free meals per year for New Yorkers in need. To learn more, please visit foodbanknyc.org.

About Care For the Homeless

Care For the Homeless (CFH) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is committed to providing individuals experiencing homelessness with high quality medical, mental, and behavioral health care services. In addition, CFH actively advocates for policies to prevent and end homelessness. CFH also currently operates Susan’s Place and the 52nd Street Women’s Center, transitional shelters for mentally ill and medically frail women as well as multiple health care delivery sites across four New York City boroughs. For more information, visit www.careforthehomeless.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.