SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thousands of residents lacking access to food and proper nutrition in Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties will continue to be served this winter by Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) thanks to a $25,000 grant from California Health & Wellness (CHW).
“In rural communities and food deserts with scarce resources, meeting the nutritional needs of Californians is critical to the health and well-being of our local communities and state,” said Martha Santana-Chin, Medi-Cal President of CHW and Health Net. “No one should have to worry about how they will provide the next meal for themselves and their families.”
The distribution of this food had been in doubt after the pandemic forced IMACA to move to a contactless drive-through food distribution model to serve residents. The new approach increased the power demand on the refrigerators, freezers, and aging electrical system in IMCACA’s central warehouse, leading to a potential breakdown of the overall system. In addition, as demand increased, so did the risk of an electrical fire and spoiled food.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light so many issues around food insecurity and hunger,” said Lisa Slaugh, interim Executive Director of IMACA. “We’re proud that we’ve been able to meet the needs of hundreds of families during the last two years. With this grant funding, we will expand our storage capabilities and ensure no one goes hungry should the power go out.”
With this grant, IMACA has upgraded the warehouse’s electrical service from 100 amps to 200 amps; installed a 30 amp plug for their freezer truck; and installed a backup power source for the warehouse refrigeration system. This has allowed IMACA to:
- Safely store more refrigerated and frozen food;
- Avoid spoiling food during Public Safety Power Shutoffs; and,
- Support increased numbers of food deliveries to residents.
"IMACA does outstanding work on behalf of Eastern Sierra residents, and I want to express my gratitude to California Health & Wellness for supporting IMACA's efforts to ensure that local families have access to food and proper nutrition this winter season," stated John Peters, Mono County Supervisor and IMACA Board Director.
IMACA serves Inyo and Mono counties, an area of more than 14,000 square miles and a population of about 35,000 people. The organization serves at least 450 households each month in Walker, Bridgeport, Lee Vining, June Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Benton, Chalfant, Bishop, Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, Keeler, Darwin, Tecopa and Charleston View. IMACA is staffed with one full time employee, three part time staff and is supported by 30 incredible volunteers who selflessly give their time every month throughout the year.
About California Health & Wellness
At California Health & Wellness, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health. That is why we have been offering access to quality health coverage to Californians in 19 rural counties since 2013. In fact, we operate as part of the state's Medi-Cal Managed Care Rural Expansion program. This expansion brings health coverage to people eligible for Medi-Cal, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other programs. Headquartered in Northern California, our work is based on the core belief that access to quality healthcare is best delivered locally. We are dedicated to helping transform the communities we serve, one person at a time. That is why we partner with local, regional and community-based organizations to deliver access to healthcare, pharmacy, vision and transportation services for our members. California Health & Wellness is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), a Fortune 25 company that provides affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation.