UnitedHealthcare North Carolina Greenfield state – in partnership with Advance Community Health and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle – recently celebrated the success of its Mobile Food Market program at an event where participants “shopped” for healthy produce and shared their accomplishments from the six-month pilot initiative.
The market has been set up every Tuesday at Advance Community Health, where 50 diabetic patients filled up to two grocery bags with fresh produce, including apples and strawberries to spinach, kale, zucchini and tomatoes, to control or reverse their diabetes. They also tasted foods from sample recipes and take part in healthy-eating demonstrations.
Since the program began six months ago, participants have made nearly 850 visits to the market. They’ve also made several positive changes to their health. They’ve lost weight, improved their blood sugar levels and are relying less on medications.
“At the Mobile Food Market, we have the opportunity to make an immediate impact on people’s health and well-being – whether we’re delivering fresh produce or sharing useful recipe tips to encourage healthier lifestyles,” said Anita Bachmann, vice president, UnitedHealthcare Community & State of North Carolina. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to join our partner organizations and help the people in our communities get well and stay well.”
Over the course of the six-month pilot, UnitedHealthcare has invested $50,000 to deliver an estimated 32,000 pounds of food to participants, with the goal of helping people adopt new and healthier eating habits. Advance Community Health provides medical screenings to participants, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle delivers the produce to the community center each week. UnitedHealthcare organizes volunteers and ensures patients get to and from the location, and LabCorp helps monitor participants’ blood sugar levels.
“Several participants already report feeling better,” said Wilma Metcalf, manager of marketing and communications, Advance Community Health. “Eating a balanced diet is a crucial first step toward a healthy lifestyle, and together we have an opportunity to improve health outcomes for communities across North Carolina.”
The Mobile Food Market builds on UnitedHealthcare’s recent announcement to provide $75,000 in grants to three North Carolina food bank organizations to help improve access to healthy, affordable food statewide. The Mobile Food Market was also supported by more than 40 volunteers across UnitedHealth Group, including Optum, Community & State, Medicare & Retirement, Employer & Individual, and more.