NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amerigroup Tennessee donated $70,000 worth of commercial refrigerators and/or freezers to 20 food pantries and community organizations across Tennessee. The donated commercial units will allow community serving organizations to increase food storage capacity, replace old and outdated units and preserve meat, dairy and fresh vegetables in order to keep up with the ongoing need and demand for impacted individuals, families and seniors in the community.
Many food distribution organizations have to turn down donations due to the inability to store items that require a refrigerator and/or freezer. As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, these donations afford the opportunity to take in more perishable and fresh foods that will last longer and provide low-income communities with the resources they need which sometimes can be taken for granted.
“We are grateful for Amerigroup’s support and donation in helping us serve our community through a walk-in commercial freezer as we continue to serve approximately 500 families a week,” said Bruce Hussey, Operation Hope Neighborhood Ministries President. “We need the freezer because we often receive meat or frozen products that have to be put in a freezer or distributed quickly to keep it safe to eat. Last year we distributed 1.2 million pounds of food and since COVID-19 began, we have distributed about 800,000 pounds of food. Families are struggling and we do our best to receive and distribute as much as we can.”
As many communities and families struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic, access to and selection of perishable products are more important than ever. Through the donation of commercial refrigeration and freezer units, food pantries and community organizations can increase their food inventory without having to dismiss spoiled goods, allowing for more shelf-life providing the community with longer lasting services.
“Amerigroup’s generous contribution enabled six of our partner agencies to purchase refrigerators and freezers to expand the cold storage at their food pantries. This cold storage expansion enables them to provide additional food items such as dairy, meat, and produce that they could not have otherwise provided,” said Rhonda Chafin, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee Executive Director. “Amerigroup’s financial support greatly increases the capacity of our partner agencies to serve their local communities including rural and urban locations and a college campus. We are grateful for Amerigroup’s gift that comes at a time of unprecedented need for food assistance.”
According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 Tennesseans struggles with hunger and 1 in 6 children are food insecure. Research indicates that poor nutrition, often a result of food insecurity, is a leading risk factor for many chronic conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other diet-related diseases.
In order to address the immediate needs of Tennesseans, Amerigroup has provided funding for refrigerators and/or freezers to the following organizations:
- Cookeville: Putnam County Board of Education
- Dyersburg: Matthew 25:40, Inc.
- Henderson: Harvest Time Church of God in Christ
- Humboldt: Helping Hand of Humboldt
- Humboldt: Humboldt Senior Citizens Center
- Jackson: Operation Hope Neighborhood Ministry/The Hope Center
- Jackson: The Care Center of Jackson
- Jackson: Tennessee Homeless Solutions
- Jackson: Dream Center
Kingsport: Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee partner agencies including:
- Elizabethton: Hale Community Ministries
- Fall Branch: Cornerstone Fellowship
- Johnson City: Bucky's Food Pantry - East Tennessee State University
- Johnson City: The River of Tri-Cities Church
- Kingsport: Help and Hope Ministries
- Kingsport: Holston Terrace
- Newbern: Newbern First Baptist Church
- Savannah: House of Hope
- Savannah: Love Tabernacle Church of God in Christ
- Selmer: McNairy Family Center – Loaves & Fishes
- Trenton: University of Tennessee Extension Gibson County
“Amerigroup Tennessee has continued to work with our community organizations and partners to find innovative solutions to solve for food insecurity, especially during times of increased need,” said Robert Garnett, plan president, Amerigroup Tennessee. “This donation will provide for better and more reliable food distribution and support services for those individuals that are seeking access to healthy food. Amerigroup Tennessee is committed to improving and expanding services for affordable and healthy food options for our local communities as we play a crucial role in improving the overall health of Tennesseans.”
“We appreciate Amerigroup Tennessee for their generous donation of equipment and food to help our community organizations address food insecurity in our state,” said State Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta). “Many Tennessee families and seniors are struggling during these unprecedented times. One of the qualities of the Tennessee spirit is a shared willingness to come together and help each other when there is a need. These community service organizations have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve Tennesseans in need and this donation from Amerigroup will help advance their goal that no Tennessean goes hungry.”
Amerigroup Tennessee is engaging alongside non-profit organizations and other partners as a leading champion for direct community action and food relief initiatives. As part of its ongoing commitment to support the need to address food insecurity, Amerigroup recently donated more than $115,000 across the state for underserved and at-risk youth and seniors in the local community. Amerigroup Tennessee is committed to supporting programs that go beyond traditional healthcare support.
About Amerigroup Tennessee
Amerigroup Tennessee, Inc. helps improve health care access and quality for approximately 400,000 Tennessee residents who participate in the state’s various Medicaid programs. Amerigroup serves Tennesseans by developing and delivering innovative care management programs and services. Amerigroup Tennessee members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. It provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their health care. For more information about Amerigroup, please visit our website at www.myamerigroup.com/tn.