WELLESLEY, Mass., Nov. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of World Diabetes Day yesterday, Sun Life U.S. announced the six recipients of the 2021 Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which supports organizations around the country that offer diabetes prevention and management programs in high-risk and underserved communities. The Team Up grants are among Sun Life's key philanthropic programs to help slow the advancement of diabetes and improve health in communities across the U.S.
"As we have seen before and during the pandemic, there are large gaps among communities when it comes to accessing healthcare and health-related services," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "Through this grant program and our other philanthropy initiatives Sun Life is committed to helping to close these gaps, ensuring more people can access healthcare and live healthier lives."
The recipients of the Team Up Against Diabetes grants are chosen based on innovative approaches to diabetes support, and access to nutrition and other related health services. The applications for the grant are reviewed every year by a team of Sun Life employees, business partners and independent health experts.
This year's Sun Life Team Up Against Diabetes grant program winners are:
Mama's Kitchen, Diabetes Nutrition Program, San Diego Mama's Kitchen began in 1990 as a free meal delivery service to residents with HIV/AIDS, and as the years have passed, has expanded to support other at-risk populations affected by critical illness. This year Sun Life's grant will help Mama's Kitchen make their diabetes nutrition program permanent. This will ensure that those affected by diabetes receive the help they need with meal support and nutrition education. Since the pilot program began, Mama's Kitchen has delivered over 90,000 meals to hundreds of people who are struggling with diabetes.
Shepherd's Clinic, Diabetes Self-Management Program, Baltimore Shepherd's Clinic provides healthcare for uninsured or underinsured adults in Baltimore. Sun Life's grant will support their Diabetes Self-Management Program. This program educates, treats, and supports those patients with pre-diabetes and diabetes. Additionally, the program gives advanced training to staff members on how racism impacts health, especially diabetes. Moreover, the grant will help with patient incentives such as transportation, cost coverage, food boxes and gift cards.
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Veggie IQ, Santa Barbara Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) is dedicated to improving the lives of people who have been impacted by diabetes through research, education, and care. The grant from Sun Life will support the SDRI's Veggie IQ initiative. This initiative helps low-income youth improve their knowledge of the value of fruit and vegetable consumption which results in health improvements, both mentally and physically.
Whispering Roots, Food Justice Initiative: Food Access, Education and Sustainability for Marginalized Communities,Omaha Whispering Roots uses next-generation agricultural practices to cultivate healthy communities. Some of their practices include emergency food distribution, food pharmacy, farm stands, STEM nutrition and culinary education, and indigenous agricultural support. With the help of Sun Life, Whispering Roots will expand their "Grow, Feed, and Educate" model in the following ways: Grow- cultivate, maintain, and harvest gardens to produce vegetables and indigenous plants. Feed- through expanding its delivery of over 1,600 meals on a weekly basis. Educate- through nutrition and culinary classes, food pharmacy classes, and indigenous sustainability training.
Appetite For Change, Community Cooks Meal Boxes, Minneapolis Appetite For Change uses food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change. Being a black led organization, their goal is to create health equity and to eliminate health disparities in North Minneapolis. Sun Life's grant will support Community Cooks Meal Boxes, a program assisting in economic stability for small and mid-sized BIPOC farmers. The grant will also help by increasing the number of meals served, along with development of new materials, cooking education support, program evaluations, and dissemination of program results.
The Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully (CHOICES),Community Teaching Project and Mobile Food Pantry Program, Atlanta CHOICES was founded as a resource center for families with children at greater risk for childhood obesity. Sun Life's grant will help CHOICES increase the number of children and families that they support by expanding their educational services, increasing food distribution, and implementing new learning opportunities. For the youth program, the goal is to increase knowledge of cooking basics for proper nutrition, increase physical activity, decrease technology time and in this way drive positive changes in attitudes and mental health. The grant will support 33,000 children and families over the next year.
The 2021 Team Up Against Diabetes judging panel consisted of:
Mary Beth Baril, associate director, Stop-Loss & Health, Sun Life U.S.
Marlene Campbell-Biggs, client manager, Stop-Loss & Health, Sun Life U.S.
Dr. Tracy Hamill, assistant vice president and medical director, Sun Life U.S.
Ann-Marie Hejna, senior business development executive, ComPsych Corporation
Tammi Hendrick, executive administrative assistant, Sun Life U.S.
Latoya Keatts, LTD claims case manager, Sun Life U.S.
Peter Kilmartin, Jr., partner, Mercer Health & Benefits
Glenna Lasater, vice president of Human Resources, The MGIS Companies, Inc.
Andre Lockett, licensing specialist, Broker Services, Sun Life U.S.
Misty Randall, vice president, Employee Benefits Marketing, HUB International
Karen White, assistant vice president, Client Solutions, Sun Life U.S.
Since the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program began in 2016, Sun Life has donated over $1.35 million to diabetes prevention, management and support programs. The grants have helped educate people about the impact of diabetes and the importance of following a healthy lifestyle. Sun Life also maintains partnerships with the American Diabetes Association in support of their Project Power youth health program, the Boston Celtics in support of the YMCAs of Greater Boston, Hartford and Southern Maine, and the Kansas City Royals to support various community diabetes programs in Kansas City.
About Sun Life Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2021, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.39 trillion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
In the United States, Sun Life is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 55,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life's U.S. portfolio of insurance products and services includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary, supplemental health, medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 5,500 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.