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Health Partners Plans Partners with Philabundance, Food Connect to Address Critical Food Insecurity and Workforce Development Needs

Innovative programming provides essential food relief and long-term vocational training for vulnerable Philadelphians

Philadelphia, PA — Health Partners Plans (HPP) announced today its partnership with Philabundance, Food Connect and Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) to provide home delivered short-term food relief and workforce development opportunities to its members. This innovative partnership consists of home delivered food and produce distribution as well as vocational training opportunities.

Through the Food Distribution Program, Philabundance provides three individual frozen meals weekly and a 12-pound box of produce bi-weekly for HPP members for 12 weeks. These pre-boxed meals are delivered directly and safely to HPP members’ homes by Food Connect, closing a critical gap between people who are food insecure and require access to healthy, stable meals. Each box includes a variety of four to five nutritious items, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The program began its first deliveries in mid-November and will continue on a rolling basis initially feeding about 2,000 members. HPP is focused on finding opportunities to sustain the program long-term.

“With one in five people already suffering from food insecurity in Philadelphia, and with many of our members needing access to the emergency food system due to the COVID-19 pandemic, access to food is crucial,” said Health Partners Plans President and CEO Denise Napier. “We’re grateful for the partnerships with Philabundance, Food Connect and Philabundance Community Kitchen that allow us to address these immediate food needs while broadening opportunities for employment and lessening the impact of poverty on our members.”

A key aspect of HPP’s new program is offering sustainable, long-term opportunities for training, education and employment. HPP members have the opportunity to participate in the PCK program, which has been preparing low-income adults to confidently enter the workforce and retain employment through professional culinary arts training for more than 20 years. PCK students have the chance to practice culinary skills in a real-world setting by preparing meals for communities in need. Not only does this experience provide a positive, empowering work opportunity for students, but it also helps address the increased need for expanded emergency food support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PCK program provides workforce development opportunities for 20 HPP members – 10 of whom have already completed the program.

“These new HPP programs are timely and critical investments in our communities, addressing both immediate food needs and long-term economic and employment issues,” said Director of Community Health Programs Kristin Beck. “Fostering partnerships with trusted, experienced organizations that are embedded in the communities we serve allows HPP to address the impact of poverty and enhance the quality of life for our members.”

“This collaboration between HPP, Food Connect and Philabundance is a perfect example of pivoting to meet the needs of clients during COVID,” said Philabundance CEO Loree Jones. “Through this program, we can ensure that our neighbors who cannot leave their homes have access to quality, nutritious food.”

ABOUT HEALTH PARTNERS PLANS

Health Partners Plans is a not-for-profit managed health care organization serving more than 259,000 members in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It provides a broad range of health coverage options through Health Partners Medicare, Health Partners (Medicaid) and KidzPartners (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Founded more than 30 years ago, Health Partners Plans is one of the few hospital-owned health plans in the country. Learn more about how to PartnerUp with Health Partners Plans, visit HealthPartnersPlans.com, twitter.com/HPPlans and facebook.com/healthpartnersplans.