To address community needs such as food inequities and the lack of affordable housing in New Mexico communities, UnitedHealthcare has awarded nearly $200,000 in community grants to four local organizations. These grants will help New Mexico Medicaid members access support such as housing assistance during emergencies, food assistance and senior services.
We are honored to support these local community organizations that address the critical needs of people across our state. We’re committed to serving our members and the communities where they live by improving access to social services and high-quality care so they can live healthier lives.
Why these grants matter to our members
New Mexico faces serious challenges related to social drivers of health (SDOH). According to America’s Health Rankings, 13.5% of our seniors are living below the poverty level — the highest poverty rate among seniors in the nation.
Additionally, more than 30% of residents who are older than 62 years are experiencing severe housing challenges, including lack of complete kitchen facilities, lack of plumbing facilities, overcrowding or cost burdens. More than 17% of New Mexico households experienced severe housing problems in 2021, with Native American communities impacted disproportionately at more than 29%.
The lack of affordable food represents an equally critical picture with nearly 13% of New Mexicans experiencing food insecurity in 2021, including 20.5% of children. It’s important to understand the implications of this as studies show that food insecurity has broad effects on overall health, especially for children, seniors and people with chronic health conditions.
To address these SDOH issues in New Mexico, we’ve partnered with local organizations that are working with the communities and understand how these specific challenges can be met on a local level. Here is an overview of each of the four grant recipients.
ECHO was awarded $32,500 to provide emergency rental/mortgage assistance to 25 to 40 families for up to two months. They will also provide food nutrition boxes tailored to meet the specific diagnoses of the recipient families.
We awarded this collaboration of faith congregations $47,800 for housing assistance and eviction protection. The grant will help to sponsor a care coordinator who will assist community members in meeting their needs by helping them navigate community partners and managed care organizations.
As the largest nonprofit dedicated to solving food insecurity in New Mexico, this organization was awarded $91,285 to implement food-assistance programs in two Southeast New Mexico public schools and to expand programs that support individuals managing nutrition-related chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.
In support of Senior.One’s mission to empower seniors and their caregivers, we awarded their organization $25,000 to amplify their efforts to facilitate direct connections with senior-focused services, including housing options, in-home care, financial planning, and support services.
These grants are one of several UnitedHealthcare initiatives launched to address social determinants of health in the communities we serve. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 205,000 members enrolled in employer-sponsored, individual, or Medicare and retirement plans in New Mexico, with a network of 41 hospitals, and over 11,000 physicians and care providers statewide. Read more about our support of New Mexico communities in our press release.