TAMPA, Fla., June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help Tampa Bay's most vulnerable populations live better, healthier lives, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced today that the WellCare Community Foundation donated more than $30,000 to support Feeding Tampa Bay, the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, and its mobile food pantry program, which helps deliver groceries directly to thousands of children and families.
Florida ranks fourth in the nation for family hunger, and in Tampa Bay, more than 700,000 people and 250,000 children struggle with hunger every day. Through this new partnership, WellCare and Feeding Tampa Bay will host 12 mobile food pantries across Tampa in both rural and urban locations over a one-year period. WellCare employees will also help distribute food to local residents.
On June 18, WellCare launched its mobile food pantry program at Our St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Seffner. More than 25 WellCare volunteers distributed over 12,000 pounds of food, which feeds approximately 300 to 400 families for up to four days. Over the course of the one-year program, WellCare will reach up to 4,800 families and deliver over 125,000 meals to the Tampa Bay community.
"One in four children and one in six people in Tampa Bay struggle with hunger— the long-term effects of which can be devastating to our communities," said Thomas Mantz, executive director of Feeding Tampa Bay. "We are thankful for WellCare's support, which is critical to help eliminate food insecurity and improve the quality of life within our communities."
"At WellCare, we are deeply committed to helping children and families in Tampa Bay lead better, healthier lives," said Michael Radu, senior vice president, clinical operations and business development. "We understand that our members often have challenges in life that go beyond just health care. This often includes a lack of access to nutritious foods—a key component to good health. We are happy to partner with Feeding Tampa Bay to provide greater access to healthy foods in our local communities."
For more information about Feeding Tampa Bay, or to locate an upcoming mobile food pantry in your area, visit www.feedingtampabay.org.
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. WellCare serves approximately 3.7 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2016. 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.
About the WellCare Community Foundation
The WellCare Community Foundation was established in 2010 and is a non-profit, private foundation. Its mission is to foster and promote the health, well-being and quality of life for the poor, distressed and other medically under-served populations – including those who are elderly, young and indigent – and the communities in which they live. The WellCare Community Foundation carries out this mission by supporting work that helps people live healthy, safe and productive lives, and by assisting groups with serious and neglected health needs. Underscoring this mission is the WellCare Community Foundation's goal to serve as a national resource that fosters an environment where there is a continuum of education, access and quality health care, all of which improve the overall health, well-being and quality of life of targeted beneficiaries.
About Feeding Tampa Bay
Founded in 1982, Feeding Tampa Bay is the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community, serving a food-insecure population of more than 700,000 people in a 10-county area. Feeding Tampa Bay recovers surplus food donations from local growers, manufacturers, supermarkets, and organized community food drives and distributes it to those in need through a partnership network of more than 500 faith-based and other incorporated nonprofit hunger relief organizations.
Over the past five years, Feeding Tampa Bay supplied more than 100 million pounds of food, enough to provide more than 3 million meals every month to those who would otherwise go hungry. Feeding Tampa Bay was honored as WEDU's Be More 2014 Nonprofit of the Year.
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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.