Molina Healthcare of Iowa Donates $5,000 to Community Grocer in Waterloo Food Desert for Voucher Giveaway
WATERLOO, Iowa, Nov.14, 2023 – Molina Healthcare of Iowa (“Molina”) presented a $5,000 check to All In Grocers to help address food insecurity for residents in the 50703 zip code. Molina’s donation allowed the grocer to distribute 100 vouchers at a giveaway event. All In Grocers is the first new grocery store in the area in more than 50 years and was constructed to address the food desert in the high-poverty Walnut neighborhood.
Poverty rates in Black Hawk County are above the state average and 34% of its residents are eligible for SNAP food benefits, according to Feeding America. Data from the State of Iowa shows 1 in 4 Black Hawk County identifying as Black or African American are considered to be living in poverty. That’s higher than any other ethnic group.
“Molina is proud to collaborate with a local business to address a critical need for those we both serve,” said Jennifer Vermeer, plan president for Molina Healthcare of Iowa. “These vouchers not only meet an immediate need but can help create healthy food habits in the future.”
Food insecurity and the lack of access to affordable nutritious food are associated with increased risk for multiple chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, mental health disorders, and other chronic diseases.
“The people of this community deserve access to the same fresh, nutritious food options as all Iowans and I’m thankful Molina is investing in the health of our neighbors,” said All In Grocers developer Rodney Anderson.
Combatting hunger has been a priority for the City of Waterloo. Mayor Quentin Hart joined mayors across the United States in launching the Mayors Alliance to End Childhood Hunger in 2022. He championed the All In Grocers development and attended the Molina voucher giveaway.
“No one should go hungry in Waterloo, yet systemic poverty in the Walnut neighborhood puts residents at an unnecessary risk for malnutrition,” said Hart. “I commend Molina Healthcare of Iowa for valuing this community and making its well-being a priority.”
About Molina Healthcare of Iowa
Molina Healthcare of Iowa, Inc. serves members through its Medicaid program in Iowa. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, provides managed healthcare services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs and through the state insurance marketplaces. Molina Healthcare served approximately 5.2 million members as of September 30, 2023, located across 19 states. For more information about Molina Healthcare, please visit MolinaHealthcare.com.