UnitedHealth Group has renewed its commitment to provide free and healthy meals to families throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul areas of Minnesota as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis. The company has pledged an additional $2.2 million to help address food insecurity in the state in partnership with Loaves & Fishes and the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. This brings the company’s total contribution to $5.4 million since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. 

High needs are anticipated this summer due to a combination of school closures, summer program cancellations, high unemployment rates and reduced access to grocery stores.

Loaves & Fishes, a nonprofit that provides fresh and healthy meals, sees its busiest month every year in July. Especially high needs are anticipated this summer due to a combination of school closures, summer program cancelations, high unemployment rates and reduced access to grocery stores and markets in Minneapolis. The partnership will continue until at least Sept. 4, 2020, which coincides with the start of the state’s school year.

“Getting a healthy meal has become a core need for many Minnesotans during this unprecedented public health emergency,” said Brett Edelson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Minnesota. "We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with area nonprofit organizations in helping to address food insecurity.”

“The generosity shown by UnitedHealth Group will make a difference in the lives of so many families,” said Cathy Maes, executive director, Loaves & Fishes. “We are thankful to have UnitedHealth Group and the YMCA join us in helping families in need.”

“With great community partners like UnitedHealth Group and Loaves & Fishes, we are supplying healthy fresh food to support families in our communities to alleviate food insecurity and hunger,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. 

Employees of the Compass Group, UnitedHealth Group's employee food service vendor, assemble the meals at UnitedHealth Group’s Optum headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn. Families may pick up meals Monday through Friday from noon to 1:00 p.m. CT at all YMCA locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. YMCA membership is not required. The meals are free and supplies are limited. For a full list of food-distribution locations, visit www.ymcamn.org/food-distribution or www.loavesandfishesmn.org/dining-sites.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the extension of this program, UnitedHealth Group will provide nearly 1.3 million nutritious meals to people in need throughout Minnesota, Nevada, Connecticut and North Carolina as part of the company’s $50 million initial commitment to support communities affected by COVID-19. 

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