Two Ohio Medicaid Managed Care Organizations provide joint donation to support the health of region facing high rates of food insecurity.
Sep. 13, 2022 - Logan, Ohio – A collaboration between CareSource and UnitedHealthcare, two Ohio Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, will support the SE Ohio Foodbank as demand for food assistance rises. The $100,000 donation will provide emergency food support through direct distributions in Jackson, Lawrence, Gallia, and Washington counties. Record low inventory forced the foodbank to pause direct distributions earlier this summer. The funds will also support the foodbank’s pantry network in their 10 county service area.
Since January, demand at the SE Ohio Foodbank has jumped by 60% as families struggle to cope with rising costs for necessities like gas and groceries. The increase comes as the foodbank faces supply chain issues, food shortages, and the end of additional COVID-19 assistance that has left inventory at its lowest levels in years.
“CareSource recognizes the people most greatly affected by inflation are those already struggling to make ends meet,” said Steve Ringel, president of CareSource Ohio. "We are grateful for organizations like HAPCAP and are proud to collaborate with UnitedHealthcare to reinvest in the community through financial and volunteer support of the SE Ohio Foodbank."
“We know 80% of what impacts an individual’s health happens outside of the doctor’s office and that is why it is critical that we support organizations like HAPCAP to increase access to necessities like affordable healthy food,” said Scott Waulters, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio. “We hope that this collaboration with CareSource Ohio and the SE Ohio Foodbank will help build capacity resulting in healthier communities.”
The joint donation results from an understanding of negative health consequences that commonly accompany food insecurity and an acknowledgment of the scale of the issue for the region. The counties the SE Ohio Foodbank serves face an average food insecurity rate of 16.17%, according to Feeding America’s Mind the Meal Gap, more than five points higher than the Ohio average.
“We’re very grateful for the support from CareSource and UnitedHealthcare. We know that food insecurity undermines the health of individuals and communities we serve,” said Kelly Hatas, Executive Director of HAPCAP. “We need strong partnerships with those who are also committed to improving the health of our region to solve this issue.”
About The Southeast Ohio Foodbank
The SE Ohio Foodbank is a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP), a private nonprofit dedicated to alleviating the impacts of poverty, and a member of Feeding America. Headquartered in Logan, Ohio, the SE Ohio Foodbank serves 10 counties, including Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, and Washington. Through the work of dedicated staff and volunteers and contributions from generous financial supporters, the organization supplies 70 member food pantries and provides more than three million meals annually. In addition to providing emergency food assistance, the SE Ohio Foodbank works to find innovative solutions to the challenges of food insecurity through the HAPCAP for Health program.
For more, visit www.hapcap.com, follow @FoodbankSE on Twitter, @se.ohio.foodbank on Instagram, or like SE Ohio Foodbank on Facebook.