Coordinated Care Expands Access to Healthy Food across Washington

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Health plan is improving the health of Washington communities via specialized partnerships, member benefits, and an annual One Million Meals campaign

TACOMA, Wash., Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Coordinated Care announced today it has provided over 4 million meals to Washington communities through its One Million Meals Campaign since 2020. The managed care organization (MCO) launched the campaign in response to the pandemic with a goal to provide 1 million meals across the state through volunteer efforts, funding agency partnerships, and an employee fundraising campaign to leverage matching dollars from the company.

“As a health plan, we have always believed access to quality, nutritious food is foundational to health and wellness. It clearly is an issue of equity as well, with the rising costs of groceries, among other influences,” said Beth Johnson, President and CEO at Coordinated Care. “Our staff has been volunteering for years with local partners like Emergency Food Network, Second Harvest, and Northwest Harvest, but the pandemic exposed the need even further, and we actively increased our efforts as a local company, including the addition of a new benefit last year to increase access to fruits and vegetables for our members.”

With the launch of Coordinated Care Harvest Bucks in July of 2021, Coordinated Care became the first and only MCO to offer this type of benefit for its Medicaid members. Partnering with the Washington State Department of Health and Safeway grocery stores, Coordinated Care members can receive a voucher to buy fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables at any Safeway in Washington. Members can receive up to $100 in vouchers per year, and more than 12,000 vouchers have been distributed in the last 15 months.

Beyond supporting members, Coordinated Care has invested nearly $1 million in 2021 alone, with expert partners and programs statewide, and the impact across communities is substantial. These collaborations include:

  • Northwest Harvest for their new statewide food distribution center and the development of a free community market in Yakima.

  • Port Angeles Food Bank to launch a waste-reducing, ready-to-eat meal program and open a brand new free community market where shoppers select their own food.

  • Emergency Food Network in Pierce County for its Break Bags and home delivery programs. In total, 6,000 Break Bags were distributed to children before extended school breaks, providing 37,500 meals as well as nearly 900 home delivery food boxes which provided more than 85,000 meals.

  • Second Harvest’s Mobile Market and hunger relief programs serving rural parts of Eastern & Central Washington. Our funding provided more than 39,000 pounds of food to more than 2,600 people, which accounted for more than 33,000 meals.

  • Metro Parks Tacoma’s 2022 Summer Meals program, where nearly 6,500 meals were served to children.

  • FISH‘s “Food is Medicine” program in Kittitas County.

  • Mill Creek Food Bank (Hope Creek Charitable Foundation) for a refrigerated shipping container and walk-in freezer.

  • Associated Ministries in Pierce County for their food distribution and motel voucher programs.

  • Stanwood Camano Food Bank as they transition to a grocery store-style food pantry.

  • Lifelong in Seattle for their medically tailored meals for people with serious illnesses and culturally relevant food program.

  • Volunteers of Western Washington Snohomish County, for their Sky Valley Elderly Nutrition Delivery (SEND) program, delivering nutritious meals to seniors who are disabled, home-bound or have limited mobility.

This focus on consistent access to healthy foods is a critical component Coordinated Care believes in as they care for the whole person, complementing essential provider visits. The 2022 One Million Meals campaign is on track to exceed the goal, yet again, with more partnerships during this upcoming holiday season.

Coordinated Care’s community giving efforts focus on capacity-building, addressing healthcare inequities in underrepresented populations, and social determinants of health like food insecurity, transportation and housing. For more information about how Coordinated Care is investing in solutions across Washington, visit CoordinatedCarehealth.com/about-us/community.

About Coordinated Care
Coordinated Care provides free and low-cost health insurance coverage to more than 280,000 Medicaid, foster care and marketplace members across Washington state, with more than 30,000 providers in-network. Coordinated Care is committed to improving the health of the community one person at a time. They treat the whole person by breaking down barriers to accessing care, walking members through their benefits, and connecting them to the care they need. To learn more, visit http://www.CoordinatedCareHealth.com.

 

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SOURCE Coordinated Care

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