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Anthem Foundation pledges $24 million to nonprofit organizations

The donations will help address food insecurity, mental health, and housing and economic recovery from the pandemic.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Anthem Foundation has announced a new round of grants worth almost $24 million to go to nonprofits around the country recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These donations are a part of the foundation's $50 million pledge for COVID-19 relief efforts. They will be sent to 83 nonprofit organizations focused on addressing food insecurity, mental health, and housing and economic recovery.

Some of the organizations included are the Food Trust, which seeks to expand access to heart-healthy foods and beverages; the Healthier Kids Foundation, which focuses on holding routine screenings for anxiety, depression and other indicators affecting mental and behavioral health in Santa Clara, California County students; and the Coalition for Homeless Intervention of Greater Indianapolis, which seeks to provide permanent housing resources and substance abuse treatment.

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WHY THIS MATTERS

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact, not only on the health of many underserved populations, but also on the social determinants of health.

Factors such as employment, housing, food, education and access to healthcare are expected to become worse as a result of the pandemic, according to findings from the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

"The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is already being felt among population subgroups as a function of poverty, whether it is due to structural racial injustice, an inability to treat underlying chronic conditions due to increased healthcare burden and clinic closures, patients' lack of access to critically needed healthcare, or a product of long-standing social injustices manifested mainly through food insecurity or job and income losses," the report stated.

THE LARGER TREND

As organizations come to realize the negative implications that the pandemic has on already-vulnerable groups, many have begun making donations in support.

In June, Anthem released $2.5 billion to assist consumers, caregivers and communities in their recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution included $50 million for community-based organizations, but also set aside funds to increase access to coverage and advance tools and policies to assist consumers and providers.

UnitedHealthcare also made community-based organizations a priority as they donated $12.3 million as a part of its Empowering Health commitment. The funds supported organizations addressing food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health.

ON THE RECORD

"Our communities have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the work our nonprofits are doing is vital as communities look ahead to their recovery," said Gail Boudreaux, president and CEO of Anthem, in a statement "Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to help meet the needs of our most vulnerable populations and support organizations who continue their work on the front lines addressing areas that were severely impacted by the pandemic."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org