Food Lifeline, Step by Step among local agencies receiving UnitedHealthcare grants

Photo courtesy Food Lifeline

Six Washington state nonprofits focused on expanding access to care for underserved communities have received $1 million in grants from UnitedHealthcare. The donations include a $300,000 grant to Food Lifeline, which works with Snohomish County food banks including those in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

UnitedHealthcare also made a grant of $100,000 to Step By Step, which works with at-risk pregnant women so they will deliver healthy babies. The grant will be used to expand its perinatal mental health and maternity support in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties and improve maternal health outcomes through home visitation.

The Food Lifeline grant will be used to expand the availability of nutritious and culturally relevant foods through food access specialists in key neighborhoods and build the capacity of food partner agencies in diverse communities.

Other grant recipients in Washington include:

  • Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, Pierce County – $200,000 to add culturally relevant wellness programming supporting all aspects of mental and physical well-being for youth, adults and families.
  • Chinese Information and Service Center, Renton – $180,000 to expand culturally relevant programming for immigrants, older adults, parents and families through support groups, community events and virtual offerings to reduce social isolation and promote community building.
  • Volunteers of America Eastern Washington – $150,000 to support behavioral health programming and case management for individuals experiencing homelessness or living in transitional housing or permanent supportive housing.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Spokane – $70,000 to support the Ending the Silence program by increasing outreach to diverse communities, including youth organizations, schools and more, to increase conversations about youth mental health and ways to access support.

“UnitedHealthcare is honored to support the important work these local organizations are doing to provide greater access to services for underserved communities in Washington,” said Keith Payet, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Washington. “Social and economic factors continue to have a significant impact on achieving and maintaining good health. These grants enable us to work closely with our community partners and to be there for what matters in addressing social determinants of health for their residents.”

According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, approximately 80% of what influences a person’s health relates to nonmedical issues, such as food, housing, transportation and the financial means to pay for basic daily needs.

UnitedHealth Group has invested more than $800 million in affordable housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services, and in 2019 joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans. In June 2022, the United Health Foundation, the philanthropic foundation of UnitedHealth Group, made a $100 million commitment over 10 years to advance health equity, furthering its efforts to eliminate health disparities. This was the largest single philanthropic commitment ever made by the United Health Foundation.

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