Kaiser Permanente Bolstering Nutrition in Southern California

Food Banks Feeling the Pressure to Provide this Holiday Season

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Food banks across Southern California are facing increased demand for their services due to unemployment and the weak economy. And donations are expected to continue to decline again in 2012. More Americans than ever have applied for federal aid according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. That is why this holiday season Kaiser Permanente Southern California is ensuring Healthy Eating in Hard Times with $630,000 in grants to nine local food banks.

Among the recipients is the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank where donations have decreased by 20 percent. "We are extremely grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their generous gift that will enable the Food Bank to acquire and distribute over one million pounds of produce assisting us in our mission to provide nutritious food to one million children and adults in Los Angeles County every year," said Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank will receive $95,000 over one year as part of the Food Bank’s “Bolstering Nutrition in LA County” project. Approximately 640 charitable agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, and senior centers in Los Angeles County rely on the Food Bank. “Through Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating in Hard Times program, we are providing nutritious food to many families in need this holiday season,” said Angela Coron, managing director of community benefit for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Our grant recipients are poised to meet the immediate needs of the communities we serve into 2012. We are easing the struggle that many families face as they work to put food on the table and we are ensuring that families obtain fresh fruits and vegetables.”

The food banks will utilize the grant monies to purchase produce and equipment such as freezers, increase education about healthy eating, and support CalFresh outreach and enrollment. The CalFresh Program has experienced a surge in applications in Los Angeles County. Every month, more than 3 million Californians participate in CalFresh but nearly 3 million more are also eligible and do not participate in the program.

Grant recipients include seven food banks and two Community Action Partnership organizations that operate food banks.

Here are the 9 grant recipients in alphabetical order:

The Healthy Eating in Hard Times program seeks to ensure that food-bank and pantry patrons are able to obtain healthy foods and that low-income families who are eligible are participating in federal nutrition programs. It is an extension of Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) program which recognizes the need to support proper nutrition given the growing obesity epidemic in the United States.

ABOUT LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FOOD BANK

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a non-profit, charitable organization established in 1973 and is one of the largest food banks in the United States. Through a network of 640 charitable agencies providing service from more than 1,000 agency and program sites, the Food Bank supplies enough food for 770,000 meals each week throughout Los Angeles County. For more information, visit www.lafoodbank.org.

ABOUT KAISER PERMANENTE COMMUNITY BENEFIT PROGRAM

Kaiser Permanente's Community Benefit program is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve and reducing health disparities through community partnerships with the safety net of community clinics, public health departments, public hospitals, and other agencies. Community Benefit also helps increase access to quality health care and coverage, regardless of income, through our charity care and charitable coverage programs; supports community groups to inspire people to make positive changes for health through our Health Eating Active Living programs and Community Health Initiatives; and shares our medical knowledge, expertise, and research to help Southern California people live healthier lives. For more info, visit Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit.

ABOUT KAISER PERMANENTE

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.5 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.



CONTACT:

Kaiser Permanente
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGION
Sandra Hernandez-Millett
626-405-5384
or
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
Carole Tremblay
323-234-3030 ext. 147

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

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