RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Since June, Monday mornings have revolved around one thing for Inland Empire Health Plan’s (IEHP) Community Outreach team: putting food on the table for residents. To date, the health plan has worked with more than 60 community partners and is on track to distribute more than $1.3 million in food and groceries to Inland Empire (IE) residents.

Through IEHP’s partnership with the Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, USDA-approved items including fresh produce, dairy and chicken, are organized, divided, and prepped for distribution to local community-based organizations that distribute the food directly to residents.

“The need for food has always been one of the greatest needs our members have shared with us,” said Dr. Gabriel Uribe, IEHP director of community health. “Between layoffs, changes in income, and other unfortunate circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food has increased tremendously. Through collaborations and partnerships with several organizations in the community, we’ve been able to respond to those needs in greater ways than we’ve imagined.”

To date, more than 593 tons of produce, meat and dairy products have been distributed, valuing $1,378,368.

“Since we are not traditionally in the food space, we had a lot to learn and are so grateful to the partners who helped us get started,” said Marci Coffey, IEHP director of community partnerships. “Music Changing Lives and Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino were key to the success of our food distribution efforts getting off the ground.”

In addition to this Monday morning effort, the health plan has also helped staff local food banks, hosted drive-thru events, organized grocery deliveries to Senior Living Apartments, created and delivered more than 1,400 handmade cards to skilled nursing facilities, and sourced and donated PPE to be distributed to health agencies in the region.

“Actively listening to our members, providers and the community to better understand everyone’s needs has always been the IEHP way,” said Cesar Armendariz, IEHP senior director of community health. “During the pandemic, that didn’t change at all! In fact, we upped our efforts to do more so we could allocate our resources and energy in all the appropriate areas to ensure they were not only effective but could have the most immediate impact. We understand that times are tough for so many of our IE residents, and we are committed to continuing to do our part to inspire hope and lift up everyone’s spirits by continuing to bring more food to those in greatest need.”

To find a food bank in your area, visit https://connectie.org/.

About IEHP
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. With a network of more than 6,400 Providers and more than 2,000 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.3 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan). Through a dynamic partnership with Providers and Community, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to advocating for our Members and providing them with quality, accessible and wellness-based health care services. For more information, visit iehp.org.

SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)

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