With over 10 million people, Los Angeles County has the largest population of any county in the nation — and also one of the largest accounts of hunger. An estimated 1 in 5 people in the county may not know where their next meal is coming from with more than 20,000 seniors receiving food directly from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank each month.
To help address this need, UnitedHealthcare and the Los Angeles Rams recently teamed up for a “Day of Service” at the food bank. Roughly 150 UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers worked alongside Rams players Nate Trewyn and Marquise Copeland and the Rams Cheerleaders to pack more than 2,100 meal kits for local seniors in need.
The UnitedHealthcare mascot, Dr. Health E. Hound, and the Rams mascot, Rampage, helped keep everyone motivated throughout the morning.
“Access to nutritious foods is one of the biggest social determinants of health we’re addressing in Los Angeles and across the state,” said Meghan Newkirk, vice president, UnitedHealthcare of California.
“UnitedHealthcare is committed to investing in the communities we serve, and we are proud to continue our partnership with the Los Angeles Rams and the LA Regional Food Bank to address hunger-related issues and other social determinants of health in the region.”
Studies have shown that as much as 80 percent of what influences a person’s health are factors outside of clinical care. Rather it’s attributed to socioeconomic and environmental factors, including access to food, transportation and housing.
Many clients expressed their gratitude as they left the food bank with their meal kits.
“Thanks to these volunteers, I will now be able to have a real meal with my family,” one client said.
The LA Regional Food Bank mobilizes resources to fight hunger in the Los Angeles community. The organization sources and acquires food products to distribute to people in need through charitable agencies. They also work to energize the community to get involved and support hunger relief by conducting hunger education and awareness campaigns, while advocating for public policies that help to alleviate hunger in Los Angeles.