Helping Those at Risk of Food Insecurity this Holiday Season
For many, the ability to access enough high-quality and nutritious food can be compromised over the holiday season. Centene understands that access to healthy food greatly impacts whole health and is committed to removing barriers to this key social determinant of health.
During the holidays and year-round, Centene and many of its health plans support community events aimed at eliminating hunger and improving families' quality of life. Many of Centene's health plans, such as Coordinated Care in Washington state and Buckeye Health Plan in Ohio, have long-running programs aimed at improving access to nutritious food over the holiday season. Both plans have spent recent years providing food for some of our most vulnerable populations.
For students who count on receiving meals at school, seasonal breaks place additional pressure on their families. Coordinated Care health plan in Washington has partnered with local nonprofit Emergency Food Network over the past three years to help offset food insecurity during holiday breaks. Coordinated Care sponsors the "Break Bags" program to distribute bags of food to children of low-income families during Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Winter Break. Throughout the year, Coordinated Care employees join other community volunteers to help pack the Break Bags with free food supplies. In addition to donating employees' time in packing the bags, Coordinated Care also supplies the reusable grocery bags used to hold the supplies. More than 6,000 Break Bags were distributed to families this year, helping school-aged children and their families receive enough to eat over seasonal school breaks.
In Ohio, Centene's Buckeye Health Plan provides healthy holiday meals for families in need though Operation Feed the Hungry. Now in its tenth year, Operation Feed the Hungry helps distribute the centerpiece of a holiday meal to those in need across Ohio. This year, Buckeye employees will deliver more than 4,000 turkeys -- totaling 37,745 pounds -- to 133 community-based agencies in 11 counties. Churches, community centers, and other charitable organizations will distribute the turkeys to 4,137 needy Ohio families in mid-December. Since the program's inception, an estimated 32,000 families have been fed by nearly 182,000 pounds of donated food.
Centene's health plans are dedicated to developing long-lasting relationships with our community partners to address the non-medical needs of our membership. By volunteering and providing services beyond healthcare, our employees work even more closely with the communities we serve and help positively impact their overall health.
Learn more about Centene's commitment and responsibility to our communities through additional partnerships and outreach all year long.