MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Minnesota Vikings, Second Harvest Heartland and UnitedHealthcare are teaming up once again to help tackle senior hunger in the Twin Cities.
Viktor the Viking, Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders and Vikings players, including Chris Kluwe, will join 180 UnitedHealthcare employees Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 2 – 3 p.m. for a volunteer food-packing event at Second Harvest Heartland West, located at 6325 Sandburg Road in Golden Valley. On Sunday, Oct. 21, 150 volunteers from UnitedHealthcare will participate in a Vikings Food & Fund Drive from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. prior to the Vikings-Cardinals game at Mall of America Field, collecting nonperishable food items and donations for Second Harvest Heartland. In addition, all UnitedHealthcare offices will host food drives in the Twin Cities from Oct. 22-29.
"The Vikings are proud to participate in such a great cause for so many Minnesota seniors," said Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer. "As a community leader, it is critical for this organization to join our partners in assisting Minnesotans of all ages."
"Far too many seniors today are without the means to sufficiently support themselves at a time when it matters the most," said Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. "We are grateful for the support of community partners such as UnitedHealthcare and the Minnesota Vikings, both of which are helping us improve the lives of our local seniors by providing them with the food they need to continue to thrive in their golden years."
The activities are all part of UnitedHealthcare's Do Good. Live Well. program, an employee-volunteer initiative to prevent hunger, diabetes and obesity.
"We're thankful to partner with Second Harvest Heartland and the Minnesota Vikings to make a difference in the lives of older Minnesotans and to ensure they have access to fresh, nutritious food," said Jack Larsen, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.
The AARP estimates that 9 million older adults nationwide face the threat of hunger. Feeding America states that 35 percent of households with seniors served by the organization and its affiliate food banks have had to choose between food and paying for heat or utilities. In Second Harvest Heartland's 59-county service area in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, food shelf visits by people 65 and older have increased 61 percent over the past four years.
About Second Harvest Heartland
Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization, works to reinvent hunger relief through leadership and innovation so as to help those who are hungry today and provide the means for those who are hungry to be fed tomorrow. Pioneering partnerships and programs have paved the way for Second Harvest Heartland to distribute more than 70 million pounds of grocery products last year to hungry seniors, families, and children through nearly 1,000 non-profit member agencies and programs serving 59 counties in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, visit 2harvest.org or call 651.484.5117.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit www.uhc.com.
SOURCE Minnesota Vikings