The United Health Foundation has pledged $10 million to nonprofits in hard hit states to support people impacted by COVID-19. The donation is part of UnitedHealth Group’s $60 million initial commitment to fight COVID-19 and support heavily impacted populations, including health care workers, seniors and people experiencing food insecurity and homelessness.

The Partnerships

support 10 partnerships

Feeding Florida, whose member food banks support more than 2,200 local charitable agencies and provide food to the 2.8 million Floridians facing hunger, including over 850,000 children.

The United Health Foundation’s $500,000 pledge will support:

  • Partnering with farmers and restaurants across the state to harvest, prepare and distribute healthy food to those most in need.
  • Partnering with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to distribute food to seniors.
  • Helping under-resourced food banks across the state replenish their supplies.

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, a residential shelter in Orlando that helps families and individuals return to stable, permanent homes as quickly as possible.

The United Health Foundation’s $500,000 pledge will support:

  • Creating isolation units within the facility to house those with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Retrofitting shelter space to allow for greater social distancing.
  • Building an overflow shelter to temporarily expand capacity using tents and rented space.
  • Hiring additional staff to replace senior volunteers who can no longer come on site.
  • Expanding food service costs.
  • Providing services for the unsheltered homeless, including expanded shower and laundry services and additional sanitation supplies.

Downtown Emergency Service Center in Seattle, Washington, which provides housing, emergency shelter, crisis intervention and health care to approximately 8,000 homeless and formerly homeless people across the Seattle area.

The United Health Foundation’s $1 million pledge will support:

  • Purchasing personal protective equipment, hiring relief workers, and extended benefits for ill employees.
  • Promoting greater social distancing among shelter clients by helping move them to motels, as well as purchasing food, supplies and cleaning materials to limit COVID-19 transmission across its five shelters.

Food Bank For New York City, the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, which provides emergency food to vulnerable New Yorkers who may be quarantined, along with those impacted by the economic downturn.

The United Health Foundation’s $500,000 pledge will support:

  • Purchasing wholesale healthy food options for items that are not currently in stock.
  • Distributing food to schools, health facilities and hospitals, and pop-up food stations at NY City Housing Authority locations in each of the five boroughs.

Care For the Homeless, New York City, which delivers health care, social services and shelters to homeless individuals and families, through 25 health center sites and two shelters.

The United Health Foundation’s $500,000 pledge will support:

  • Purchasing personal protective equipment and supplies for health care workers and supporting workers who have fallen ill or are otherwise unable to work.
  • Delivering primary and behavioral health services to patients, regardless of ability to pay, and supporting the transition to telemedicine for non-urgent health care. 

Food Bank of South Jersey, which established the Emergency Food Fund to enable the organization to respond promptly to emergency food requests while maintaining existing operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

The United Health Foundation’s $1 million pledge will support:

  • Hiring additional staff to prepare and deliver food boxes to senior housing facilities and underserved communities.
  • Providing two weeks’ worth of food supplies to seniors, and emergency food bags and boxes to families.
  • Providing additional resources and support to local food banks in southern New Jersey.

California Community Foundation, which launched the COVID-19 LA County Response Fund to address the immediate and emerging needs of Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable residents.

The United Health Foundation’s $1 million pledge will support:

  • Twelve clinics and nearby hospitals serving uninsured and underinsured individuals, triaging those who are sick, exposed, need testing or need to be isolated and quarantined.
  • Housing providers and shelter operators who are responding to needs for outreach, social distancing, isolation and increased demand for emergency services.

Michigan’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Initiative, launched by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to support critical services for Michiganders impacted by the pandemic. Funds will be distributed through the State Emergency Operations Center based on critical needs.

The United Health Foundation’s $250,000 pledge will support:

  • The Food Bank Council of Michigan, the state’s unified food bank network, for the purchase of wholesale food that will be used in emergency food boxes and distributed to those in need.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, which leads the fight against hunger and builds food security in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response.

The United Health Foundation’s $250,000 pledge will support:

  • The cost of purchased food, including meals and grocery boxes for children, seniors and families; food packing supplies and transportation/delivery costs.

Covenant House New Orleans, a shelter for individuals aged 22 and younger that provides supportive counseling and the tools needed to help youth become independent, productive members of the community.

The United Health Foundation’s $250,000 pledge will support:

  • Hiring additional staff, such as social workers, therapists, intake staff, staff to source apartments for residents ready to move out, and staff focused on family reunification.
  • Food costs.
  • Costs for housing additional residents.
  • Street outreach to get more young people off the street and into Covenant House.

“Several areas of the United States will require extra support in the coming days to help residents experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 emergency,” said Tracy Malone, president, the United Health Foundation. “By collaborating with these leading community partners, we are ensuring critical aid is deployed quickly and effectively to those in urgent need.”


UnitedHealth Group Workers Also Help

In addition to financial support, UnitedHealth Group workers are supporting their local communities in a variety of ways:

Preparing food: Cafeteria workers and cooks in UnitedHealth Group offices in Minneapolis, Minn., Greensboro, N.C., Las Vegas, and Hartford, Conn., are staying fully employed and cooking 60,000 meals per week – nearly 30 tons of food donated by the company – for those with food insecurity in their respective communities.

Individual support: The United Health Foundation will provide an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match for employee donations made to a select number of organizations supporting COVID-19 response across the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, Philippines, Singapore and India through May 31. These organizations include National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Feeding America and Meals on Wheels.

Offering expertise: In Wisconsin, a UnitedHealth Group housing navigator helped find temporary housing and food for 45 individuals living in a local homeless shelter that closed due to COVID-19 infection.

Supporting state efforts: Two UnitedHealth Group physicians, Drs. Jeffrey Brenner and Kathy Stilo, were loaned to the New Jersey Department of Health for 90 days to help prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients. They oversee the myConnections Housing Plus Health program, nationally renowned for its ability to coordinate logistics, resources, meals, transportation and wraparound services. This work, and other support performed by Optum team members, led New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to thank UnitedHealth Group for its efforts.