TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2014) – Amerigroup Florida joined Feeding South Florida to help a local community battle hunger and improve health outcomes. The organizations sponsored a mobile food pantry at the St. Vincent de Paul Mother of Christ Food Bank in Miami, Fla., where bags of fresh, nutritious food were distributed to more than 700 families who are struggling with hunger. The Amerigroup Foundation also presented a $6,000 donation to Feeding South Florida to continue efforts to fight hunger and support struggling South Florida residents.
“Our Map the Meal Gap study indicates that there are approximately 872,000 people in South Florida who don’t know where they will get their next meal,” said Paco Velez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida. “Thanks to the generous support of Amerigroup, we are able to help people in our community to access fresh, nutritious food, so they can maintain their health and establish a foundation for improving their lives.”
According to the Hunger in America study conducted by Feeding South Florida’s parent organization, Feeding America, one in seven Americans – approximately 46 million people across the country – rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. The study also found that lack of food and poor nutrition can lead to immediate and long term health complications such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, memory loss, heart disease, osteoporosis and kidney failure.
“We understand that it is hard for people to put their health first when they are struggling to put food on the table, so we have made a commitment to help residents in our communities access the resources they need to achieve healthier outcomes,” said Dr. Eina Fishman, chief medical officer for Amerigroup Florida. “We are grateful to Feeding South Florida and all of the Amerigroup volunteers who helped make our Miami food distribution event a success, and we look forward to continuing efforts that help people live better, healthier lives.”
Feeding South Florida relies on the support of partners, such as Amerigroup, to host food drives and ensure a steady supply of shelf-stable, high-demand food products. In addition to Amerigroup’s financial support, Amerigroup associates volunteered more than 80 hours of their time to sort and distribute food to families seeking help during the Miami mobile food pantry distribution. Each family was provided with a week’s supply of food and information on how to access additional support.
About Amerigroup Florida
Amerigroup Florida has provided health care coverage in the state since 2003. We currently serve 292,000 members in the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) known as Florida Healthy Kids, Supplemental Security Income/Aged, Blind and Disabled (SSI/ABD), and Long-Term Care (LTC) programs. We are contracted to help people with low incomes get quality health care or long-term care in all 67 counties in the Gulf, central and south Florida regions. We also offer Medicare Advantage plans. Our associates share genuine pride in making a difference in the lives of people who might need a little help. We are fortunate to call these combined efforts our work.
About Amerigroup Foundation
The Amerigroup Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, a wholly owned subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. Together, with local, regional and national organizations, the Amerigroup Foundation works to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Amerigroup and its affiliated health plans serve. Amerigroup Foundation funding is focused on strategic initiatives working to address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative with five areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, and Healthy Active Lifestyle. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Associate Giving program which provides a 50 percent match of associates’ pledges, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Amerigroup Foundation, please visit www.wellpointfoundation.org.
About Feeding South Florida™
Feeding South Florida’s mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. Feeding South Florida is one of 202 member food banks in the Feeding America™ network, the sole Feeding America food bank in South Florida, and the largest food bank in the state, serving 30 percent of the state’s food insecure population. Through a local network of approximately 325 nonprofit partner agencies, Feeding South Florida distributes almost 37 million pounds of food annually, serving 871,920 individuals in need of food assistance, 287,650 of whom are children, and 150,000 are older adults, throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. For more information, visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org or call 954.518.1818.
Feeding South Florida