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August 28, 2014

Food & Friends Receives $350,000 Multi-Year Grant From Carefirst

We are proud to announce that Food & Friends was awarded a $350,000, three-year grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) to provide home-delivered groceries, including fresh produce, non-perishables, frozen soups and entrees to clients in its Groceries-to-Go program. In addition to supporting the Groceries-to-Go program, the funds will be used to leverage matching support from the community.

The grant will support the delivery of 2,069,000 meals and 50,900 bags of produce to 3,400 critically ill clients over a three-year period. A significant part of this grant is to help Food & Friends improve the nutritional composition of its Groceries-to-Go offerings by providing fresh produce, olive oil, fish and whole grains to its clients.
“For those who are ill and often living with limited mobility, it can be nearly impossible to obtain fresh produce and other nutrition staples,” says Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends. “Our partnership with CareFirst will help us continue to raise the nutritional component of our services, fill the void left by ‘food deserts’, and help clients prevent and treat serious health conditions. We greatly appreciate the sustained interest demonstrated by CareFirst in helping Food & Friends meet the needs of critically ill residents in Greater Washington.”
Since 2006, Food & Friends has received nearly $900,000 in grants from CareFirst to support nutrition programming for critically ill residents in the region.
"In addition to CareFirst's larger mission of increasing access to quality, affordable health care services, CareFirst is committed to supporting programs and initiatives that foster healthy communities," said Maria Tildon, CareFirst's Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs." Part of this support includes funding for programs targeting obesity rates and the chronic diseases associated with obesity. Through Groceries-to-Go, Food & Friends is not only going into our communities to meet a basic need, it also is encouraging individuals and families to adopt healthy lifestyles and good eating habits."
CareFirst has long been known to collaborate with the community to advance healthcare effectiveness and quality. An additional purpose of this grant is to provide Groceries-to-Go clients a chance to take charge of their overall health and nutrition by enrolling in free cooking classes led by a Registered Dietitian and hosted at Food & Friends. The classes will teach participants and their families and caregivers to prepare healthy meals from the food provided by Food & Friends and help to increase their understanding of how to maintain a healthy diet.

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