Mars Food, The MolinaCares Accord, and Kroger Delta Division Extend Partnership to Improve Access to Healthy Foods in Mississippi Delta
Greenville, MS, June 22, 2022 – Mars Food North America, The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Mississippi (“Molina”), and Kroger Delta Division announced they will extend a partnership expanding the Delta region’s supply and accessibility of healthy foods and educating residents on forming healthy eating habits.
Originally launched in July 2021, the coalition’s partnership has enabled community-based organizations in the region to support and promote healthy eating by making healthy foods accessible. During the first year of the partnership, the coalition has:
- Funded the purchase of a 26-foot refrigerated truck to improve the Hearty Helpings Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen’s collection and distribution of fresh produce and proteins. In just the first two months of having the truck, Hearty Helpings distributed over 200,000 pounds of foods to the Washington County community.
- Sponsored six mobile food pantry distributions with The Mississippi Food Network, providing 3,000 Greenville and surrounding-area residents with over 120,000 pounds of fresh produce, protein and grains and more than 100,000 healthy meals.
- Collaborated with the City of Greenville to establish a Service Member program to provide more than 150 students in the Greenville Public School and Western Line School districts with hands-on lessons in growing, cooking, and making healthy food options.
- Hosted bi-monthly education events with Mars and Molina volunteers to teach children from the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County about healthy eating habits, dental hygiene, and the importance of hydration so they can make personal and lasting goals.
Recently, coalition volunteers worked with children from the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County to plant a garden at the club’s county center, teaching them to grow, sustain, and harvest healthy produce and encouraging continued healthy eating habits. Additionally, the students created a recipe book and learned how to can vegetables once they have grown.
Based on the successful results of the first year of this partnership, the coalition will continue to plan and coordinate with Mississippi Delta organizations to help communities in the region live healthy lifestyles.
“We are extremely proud of the progress we have made to enhance food access and education in Greenville and the surrounding areas as well as the partnerships we have created to drive these initiatives,” said Denis Yarotskiy, regional president at Mars Food North America. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to make the community that has been our home for more than 43 years a place where everyone has opportunities to have a seat at the table.”
”MolinaCares is dedicated to bridging the resource and education gap that makes it more difficult for members of our community to eat healthy,” said Carolyn Ingram, executive director of the Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation. “We are encouraged by the positive results of the coalition’s partnership so far and are committed to continuing our work with community organizations improving the health and wellbeing of Mississippians so they can live their best lives.”
About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing dinnertime food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals that bring the world to the dinner table. With North American headquarters in Chicago, Ill. and global headquarters in London, Mars Food US’s portfolio of leading brands includes: Ben’s Original™, Seeds of Change™, and Tasty Bite®. Our purpose –Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow. –drives our business to be a leader in health & wellbeing and sustainability. Mars Food is a segment of Mars, Incorporated. For more information about the Ben’s Original™ Brand and its purpose initiatives, visit http://announcement.unclebens.com.
About The MolinaCares Accord
Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.
About Molina Healthcare of Mississippi
Molina Healthcare of Mississippi has been providing government-funded, quality health care since 2018. The Company serves members through Medicaid (Mississippi Coordinated Access Network/MississippiCAN and Children’s Health Insurance Plan/CHIP) and Marketplace. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 5.1 million members as of March 31, 2022.