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UnitedHealthcare, ShopRite and AARP Foundation Launch Pilot Program to Address Hunger and Improve Health in North & West Philadelphia

North and west Philadelphia residents who lack access to nutritious food will have the opportunity to participate in a new pilot program from UnitedHealthcare, ShopRite and AARP Foundation to help them improve their health and well-being.

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 5, 2016) –North and west Philadelphia residents who lack access to nutritious food will have the opportunity to participate in a new pilot program from UnitedHealthcare, ShopRite and AARP Foundation to help them improve their health and well-being.

The Community Care Packages program will provide qualifying families and individuals enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicaid health plans with up to two food vouchers worth $20 each that they can redeem for healthy foods at the ShopRite Supermarket on Fox Street in Allegheny West.

Program participants also will be able to visit a primary care nurse practitioner at QCare, a federally qualified health center created by UpLift Solutions and operated by The Family Practice and Counseling Network, and located at The ShopRite of Fox Street. There, people can receive a wide variety of primary health care services.

“People who lack access to wholesome, nutritious food often find it challenging to maintain their health and well-being,” said Allison Davenport, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Pennsylvania. “Poor nutrition takes a toll on the body, making it more difficult to prevent illness, manage a chronic illness or maintain a healthy weight. UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to partner with AARP Foundation and ShopRite to give people access to healthy food and primary preventive care.”

“More than 10 million older adults are threatened by hunger every day,” said Jim Lutzweiler, AARP Foundation vice president for the Hunger Impact area. “Hunger is a solvable problem, but the solution requires innovative partnerships to address the root causes of malnutrition, and identify ways to bring healthy, nutritious food to the millions who need it.”

Last year, nearly one in eight people in Pennsylvania at some point suffered food insecurity, defined as a limited or uncertain access to healthy, nutritious food. People who live in several low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, where food insecurity is widespread, report 61 percent higher rates of chronic health conditions such as diabetes than neighboring residents in more affluent areas.

Food insecurity often causes these chronic conditions to worsen. For example, people with diabetes who suffer from food insecurity are 27 percent more likely to be hospitalized during the last week of the month than the first week of the month because they have exhausted their food budgets.

People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plans who have had recent visits to the emergency room or hospital, or who have not seen a primary care physician within the last 12 months will be eligible for the program after completing a questionnaire about their food and nutritional security.

“We are very excited to partner with UnitedHealthcare and AARP Foundation in creating the Community Care Packages program. Health care can be more effective when supplemented by good nutrition,” said Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores. “We believe by combining our resources, we can help narrow health disparities among underprivileged communities.”

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1 million people in Pennsylvania with a network of nearly 250 hospitals, and more than 49,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About Brown’s Super Stores

Brown’s Super Stores is a family owned and operated supermarket chain of 11 Philadelphia area ShopRite supermarkets and was founded in 1988 by President and CEO Jeffrey Brown. Brown’s is headquartered in Westville, New Jersey. The Company is also well known for its state-of-the-art supermarkets that are spotlessly clean, offering a wide variety of fresh food, low prices and friendly customer service.  Brown’s has been well recognized for its dedication to the communities it serves and was recognized for the past two years as “The Best Employer” in the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The White House has also acknowledged Brown’s for its efforts in serving urban communities who lack affordable, fresh and healthy food. For more information visit us at www.brownschefsmarket.com.

About UpLift Solutions

UpLift Solutions, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded by Jeff Brown in 2009 as a platform to share his supermarket model and experience, on a national basis. UpLift has pioneered the effort of eliminating areas lacking access to fresh and affordable food in the U.S. by working with government agencies, non-profits and industry to create sustainable environments for underserved communities.  Efforts focus on creating sustainable food systems, health innovations and economic opportunity. For more information, visit www.upliftsolutions.org

About AARP Foundation

AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org


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