WellCare Gives $15,000 in Micro-Grants to Community-Based Organizations that Support Social Services in Missouri

Feb 22, 2016, 08:30 ET from WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

COLUMBIA, Mo. and TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), on behalf of its Missouri Care, Inc., announced today that it has given $15,000 in micro-grants to 14 community-based organizations across the state of Missouri. These micro-grants will support nonprofit and 501(c)(3) organizations that provide Missourians with improved access to fresh produce, behavioral health and social counseling services, and support for the homeless.

"Many of the organizations we selected provide vital services that fill social service gaps for low-income families, seniors and the homeless," said Danny Maxson, manager of advocacy and community-based programs at WellCare. "Local groups such as these often are the hardest hit when there are cutbacks in state funding and drops in private donations. WellCare's micro-grant program helps important social and health services to continue."

"The micro-grant program in Missouri allows us to build partnerships with organizations that are working to make a difference in their communities and in the lives of the people we serve," said Lou Gianquinto, Missouri Care state president. "WellCare is proud to be a part of an effort that helps these organizations to grow and expand the services they provide."

The 2015 micro-grants were given to the following community-based organizations:

Community-Based Organization

Program Highlights

Swope Health Services

Kansas City, Missouri


The grant will allow Swope to give winter weather kits to the homeless individuals of Kansas City served by its mobile medical unit.

Community LINC

Kansas City, Missouri




Community LINC provides shelter and services to families experiencing homelessness in the greater Kansas City area.  While on-site, families receive employment, lifestyle, and behavior health counseling.


Food Equality Initiative

Jackson County, Missouri


The grant will allow for FEI to expand into Jackson County and improve access to safe and healthy food for thousands of low-income residents diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac disease.

KC Keys Aquaponics

Kansas City, Missouri



The grant will support the Nile Valley Aquaponics project,
which has a goal to produce 100,000 pounds of local, chemical-
free vegetables and fish throughout the year.

Community Assistance Council

Kansas City, Missouri



To supplement donations and provide the families it serves a healthier, more balanced diet, the group purchases perishable items like meat and fresh produce.

West Central Missouri Community Action Agency

Clinton, Missouri



The grant will provide supplies for care backpacks that are offered to homeless individuals and families.


Urban Empowerment Ministries

Columbia, Missouri



The grant will fund the Urban Empowerment Community Resource Provision program to enable low-income persons to improve their situations of hardship through access to financial assistance and counseling.


Sustainable Farms & Communities

Columbia, Missouri

The grant will enable expansion of the Access to Health Foods for Seniors program to food insecure seniors.


Mental Health Association of Eastern Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri



MHA offers seminars on mental health as part of overall health and wellness to underserved populations within the City of St. Louis and surrounding communities.

United 4 Children

St. Louis, Missouri



The grant will allow the Social Emotional Childhood Project, which helps prepare at-risk children with the social skills they need to thrive in kindergarten, to reach an additional 500 children annually.


Compass Health Inc.

Clinton, Missouri



The grant will be used to install an irrigation system in its garden that provides fresh, organic produce to the St. Louis Food Bank.


Beyond Housing

St. Louis, Missouri



The grant will allow Beyond Housing to purchase a refrigerator to expand its food program that serves homeless elementary school students.

Reprieve: A Spiritual Wellness for Woman

St. Louis, Missouri



The center will use the grant to provide free memberships, workshops, and women empowerment sessions that address the stress brought on by being a single parent or loss of a child due to crime, as well as respite care for care givers.


Dunkin/Stoddard Caring Council

Kennett, Missouri



The grant will provide fresh fruits and vegetables to children in the BackPack program, which meets food needs during weekends and school breaks.

"We are delighted and honored that our agency has been awarded this micro-grant from WellCare Health Plans," said Dawn Winkler, executive director of United 4 Children "These funds will allow us to continue our important work of improving the social and emotional wellbeing of our children. We applaud WellCare's continued commitment to strengthen our communities."

"Sustainable Farms & Communities is very pleased to have been selected to receive this grant from WellCare Health Plans," said Kenneth Pigg, the organization's chair. "Our program, Access to Healthy Food, provides a match of $25 to SNAP eligible households who shop at the Columbia Farmers Market. These funds will help insure that seniors in our area have access to fresh, healthy foods for dietary maintenance and continued good health, as many of them live on very limited budgets."

"Food Equality Initiative is thrilled to be a 2016 recipient of a WellCare micro-grant award," said Emily Brown, the organization's CEO and founder. "The grant will allow us to purchase needed equipment to expand our pantry program into Jackson County, Missouri. This will help us in our efforts to provide healthy gluten free and allergy friendly foods to low-income individuals diagnosed with Celiac disease and food allergies in this area." 

"We are delighted to receive this award from WellCare Health Plans," said Carol Bird Owsley, executive director of Community Assistance Council, Inc. "These funds will allow us to purchase perishable food to supplement our food pantry and fill needs not covered by our non-perishable donations. This means so much to the families we serve."

As of Dec. 31, 2015, Missouri Care and WellCare serve approximately 130,000 members in Missouri, including 114,000 Medicaid members and 16,000 Medicare Prescription Drug members.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The Company serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2015. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.


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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.