Top Box in the News
Humana Foundation $5.5 Million Investment Sustains Health Equity Momentum in Targeted Communities
The Humana Foundation continues funding for 9 organizations proving advancements in helping people achieve better health outcomes
LOUISVILLE, KY.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Humana Foundation, philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) for the past 40 years, continued its $5.5 million investment in six communities across the United States to improve greater health equity outcomes for marginalized populations. This ongoing investment supports the Foundation’s commitment to addressing the specific needs of communities while promoting more healthy days and focusing on asset and financial security, food security and social connections.
The Foundation, through a network of strong local partnerships and community champions, extends collective progress in the areas of food systems change, financial wellness and bringing best practices to scale. These local partners continue to foster meaningful outcomes and are acquiring additional funds to maximize the success and significant results the organizations are driving.
“I am inspired by the ongoing progress of our partners as they listen and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Tiffany Benjamin, CEO of The Humana Foundation. “The people we serve are reaching equitable achievements and gaining stability through a living wage, affordable healthy foods and education and we are thankful for our partners in driving systems change.”
Each of the nine organizations receiving a Humana Foundation Strategic Community Investment is maximizing an opportunity to receive continued multi-year funding. The initial investments were awarded in early 2019 and continue to be funded based on specific metrics achieved in their programs and systems change impacts.
The Humana Foundation has continued funding in 2022 for the following organizations whose work will expand in a variety of impactful ways including:
Kingsley House- New Orleans, La: will receive $612,000 for its Kingsley Connections Hubs programs to replicate programming in two satellite offices in partner facilities. The Hubs promote economic stability by supporting participants on the pathway to earning a living wage.
Growing Local Food Collaborative–New Orleans, La: The Collaborative consisting of Recirculating Farms, Liberty’s Kitchen, Top Box Foods, Sprout NOLA and the New Orleans Food Policy Action Council will receive $650,000 to continue growing its food systems partners, innovating programs, and expanding its policy and advocacy networks.
Healthy BR- Baton Rouge, La: will receive $650,000 to continue the work of Geaux Get Healthy, which is made up of collaborative partners working together to develop accessible and healthy food systems for all. The grant will support their continuing efforts to expand community partnerships and build sustainable programs like a community garden network, clinical and community-based wellness programs, and a fresh food hub.
HOPE Ministries– Baton Rouge, La: will receive $626,600 to expand existing workforce training offerings to include career development. Funding will also establish a career development incubator to coordinate partnerships with hard-skills training providers and support paid training and internship opportunities.
Broward Community & Family Health Centers Inc. (BCOM) - Broward County, Fla : will receive $600,000 to continue expansion of a Food Rx program, Social Determinants of Health screenings, nutrition counseling and education.
University of Florida - Jacksonville, Fla: will receive $601,000 to sustain and broaden the reach of the Health-Smart Holistic Health Program for Seniors, a holistic health program that promotes social connection and food security, and mental and physical health among Black seniors in underserved Jacksonville communities. Funding also will support a pilot Black farmer entrepreneurship program.
Family Scholar House - Louisville, Ky : will receive $568,000 to support the hiring of additional staff to focus on interventions and outreach for the non-residential components of their services.
Metro United Way – Louisville, Ky: will receive $600,000 to support nonprofit organization partners in offering financial coaching and workforce development opportunities. Funding will also set up children’s savings accounts with Bridge Kids International to establish generational wealth building for families.
San Antonio Area Food Bank- San Antonio: will receive $550,000 to support focus on evaluating food equity best practices, SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) advocacy and the implementation of best practices at local, state, and national levels.
About The Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit humanafoundation.org.
Humana and The Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet.
Grocery Delivery Nonprofit to Expand Outside Southeast Louisiana
Top Box Foods Louisiana Awarded $100,000 by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation Grant
New Orleans, Louisiana – January 20, 2022 Top Box Foods Louisiana was awarded $100,000 in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to expand access to fresh and healthy groceries and provide nutritious prepared meals for community members.
Since 2013, Top Box Foods has been delivering grocery boxes to low food access areas in New Orleans through their Makin’ Groceries Program, and expanded to East Baton Rouge in 2018 through Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s Geaux Get Healthy Initiative. At the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, they pivoted to a home delivery model with the support of the Blue Cross Foundation’s Community Crisis Disaster Response Grant, an effort to keep the individuals and families they serve as safe and healthy as possible. This collective effort to shift to home deliveries resulted in over 21,000 households being served throughout the first year of the pandemic.
“We are grateful for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation’s ongoing support to deliver healthy groceries to even more households throughout Southeast Louisiana, especially as community members confront the uncertainty of the Omicron variant and the lingering impact of Hurricane Ida,” said Connor DeLoach, Executive Director of Top Box Foods Louisiana. “The expansion of the Makin’ Groceries Program and adding prepared meals to our menu are key to supporting our most vulnerable constituents in sustaining long-term healthy eating habits while building towards a more localized and community-driven food system.”
Starting in January 2022, Top Box Foods Louisiana will expand outside its regular delivery zone to provide healthy produce directly to homes. To learn more and receive updates, visit topboxfoods.com and follow them on Instagram @topboxlouisiana.
About Top Box Foods Louisiana
Top Box Foods Louisiana (TBF) is a food access nonprofit that collaborates with community partners and uses an innovative supply chain distribution model to make healthy food affordable and accessible for all. In 2013, TBF established the Makin’ Groceries Program (MGP) in New Orleans, a grocery delivery service that offers boxes filled with fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and poultry at up to 40% lower than retail value. TBF accepts credit, debit, and EBT, and is committed to serving everyone, especially low-income households and people living in low food access areas. MGP currently serves residents throughout New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information can be found at www.topboxfoods.com and on their Instagram and Facebook pages @topboxlouisiana.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. In 2020, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invested more than $14 million in Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits with programs and services reaching 6.4 million Louisianians.
CAUW ALICE Grant 2021
The ALICE Grants were distributed in Spring 2021 to provide direct financial assistance services to one or more of the following household types: seniors over 65; veterans; families/individuals with children aged 0-5; and ALICE households due to COVID-19 related unemployment.
Twenty-one partner agencies received a collective amount of $409,163.00 to serve the four focus ALICE populations identified in the application process. A portion of the funding to these agencies came from the $5 million MacKenzie Scott gift that Capital Area United Way received in December 2020, which has given us the ability to serve our community further.
Here are some of the stories and data from these partner agencies.
Top Box Foods - EBT Match and Healthy Grocery Credits Program
As part of our ALICE Grants, Top Box Foods was able to support and expand their EBT Match and Healthy Grocery Credits program. This program served both existing and new Makin’ Groceries program participants that receive SNAP benefits as well as households that experience food insecurity but do not receive SNAP benefits. Participants using EBT cards received an unlimited 50% match on their orders, making it as easy as possible for people to stretch their SNAP dollars. During the grant period, Top Box Foods served 566 households in East Baton Rouge Parish in target low food access areas identified by the Mayor-President’s HealthyBR initiative.
One of the program’s participants, Jasmine C., ordered healthy groceries for free home delivery with TBF eight times with her EBT card, which amounted to a savings of $280 SNAP dollars! When asked why she continues to shop with TBF, she said, “The best! My salmon was amazing and produce was everything I didn't know that I needed to shop for. This was especially awesome because I don't have transportation and live in a food desert! This is a blessing! Thanks Top Box (Foods) Louisiana!”
Mayor's Neighborhood Engagement Office to Host Second Annual Turkey Giveaway This Weekend
NEW ORLEANS — The Mayor's Neighborhood Engagement Office (NEO) today announced its Second Annual Turkey Giveaway taking place Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. as part of its Neighborhood Cares Initiative.
The turkey giveaway will be held on the Lafitte Greenway at the intersection of St. Louis Street and North Prieur Street. Walk-up participants are asked to line up by the playset on North Prieur Street. The drive-up line will run on the riverside on St. Louis Street. Driving participants are asked to enter the line from Broad Street.
Turkeys and fixings are available on a limited, first come-first served basis.
NEO is proud to work in partnership with Top Box Foods Louisiana, Resilience Force, the Mayor's Office of Gun Violence Prevention, We Dat's Chicken and Shrimp, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and Friends of the Lafitte Greenway.
WWNO'S "Out to Lunch" with Top Box Foods
Delivery just makes sense. Economically and environmentally.
On any given day, instead of 500 of us getting into 500 cars and going out for groceries, a handful of vehicles can deliver that same amount of food to all of those people. And they can deliver food to people who don’t have transportation. Or who live in neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to fresh or locally-sourced produce and groceries.
Although drinking alcohol might not be as essential as eating fruit and vegetables, we’ve come to learn that in our stress-filled lives, entertainment and enjoyment are indeed a vital part of our existence. So, whether we’re talking about Top Box Foods delivering fresh produce and local groceries, or Tap Truck delivering drinks and a good time, delivery just makes sense.
Physicians Identify Food Insecurities and Educate People about Healthy Choices
BATON ROUGE - This week, 2 On Your Side has explored ways the capital city is working to bring healthier options to people who live in food deserts. It's an initiative under the mayor's office and HealthyBR.
At Our Lady of the Lake North Clinic on Airline Highway, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. At the doctor's office, physicians are screening patients for food insecurity. Dr. Tiffany Wesley Ardoin is the clinical director of the Geaux Get Healthy Program and says there have been a lot of success stories.
"Food insecurity is not having access to healthier nutritious foods," Ardoin said. "It's important for people to have access to these foods to eat healthy and improve their health with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure by eating healthy."
Ardoin says it's not just having access to food, it's access to healthy food and educating people about how to prepare that food.
OLOL physicians use a USDA screening form. If patients are found to be food insecure, they qualify for a program that allows them cooking classes, a grocery store tour, a nutrition class, and access to partner resources. Those resources under the mayor's office and HealthyBR include non-profit partners like Baton Roots and community farms, as well as food distribution through Top Box Foods.
"They learn about not only how to cook healthy meals with the Healthy for Life American Heart Association curriculum, but they also learn how to incorporate those meals on a day-to-day basis, why they're important for their health, why it's important to make those choices," Ardoin said.
Participants also learn nutrition facts and clinical healthy facts like blood pressure and diabetes education.
Corner Store Partners with Top Box Foods to Provide Healthy Food Options in Food Desert
BATON ROUGE - A local business owner has partnered with a south Louisiana nonprofit to offer healthy food options to his customers.
When Khaliel Kinchen and his family opened Scenic Market in June, they were already invested in the community.
"We're from the neighborhood, we're from the area, we knew what it needed," said Kinchen. "This used to be a store before I was born and we just brought it back."
Everything on the shelves at the corner store along Scenic Highway was hand-selected. In addition to the snacks and drinks, Kinchen wanted to provide something else. His family has partnered with the nonprofit Top Box Foods to provide healthy food options to his customers.
He says that many of them don't have access to fresh food.
"A lot of the people around here don't have vehicles," said Kinchen. "A lot of them are 50+ and they walk. They can't get to the Dollar Store which is three miles, they can't get to Walmart, so that was a necessity."
It's an initiative under the Mayor's Office and HealthyBR. Top Box Foods is based out of New Orleans and delivers fresh, affordable foods to nine Baton Rouge businesses weekly. The majority of its business is home deliveries and includes items like fresh produce, meat, and seafood.
inchen says those fresh food items are something the area needs.
"A lot of stores don't have fruits and vegetables," he said. "A lot of stores don't have frozen food, a lot of stores just cigarettes and beer. We have everything - a full grocery store."
Earlier this week, 2 On Your Side visited a community farm at the old Howell Park Golf Course. Some of the food grown there is boxed up and purchased by Top Box Foods.
Executive Director of HealthyBR Jared Hymowitz says community farms are where it all begins. That produce is distributed to businesses like Scenic Market.
"This is meeting people where they are, providing them an option for something healthy or maybe to pick up something quick," said Hymowitz.
The produce at Scenic Market and other Baton Rouge businesses that partner with Top Box Foods can be bought with SNAP, EPT, debit, or credit.
Since HealthyBR started three years ago, it's helped to distribute over 220,000 lbs. of food.
"It really is a huge impact in creating access for people who may not or do have access but want to make a choice and buy local," said Hymowitz.
Central City Community Stirs Up Healthy Recipes with Local Chef
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Central City community gathered to share healthy vegetable recipes and participate in a cooking demonstration by a local chef on Thursday.
USI partnered with Top Box and A Partnership for a Healthier America to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to 1,000 New Orleans families.
Families in the Central City Community picked up food boxes and healthy food preparation tips from local chef Eisha Knox.
The “Good Food for All” program and cooking demonstrations will continue through the first part of 2022.
The event was meant to show the community how important fresh fruits and vegetables are for positive health outcomes. This was one of their steps to ensure that all families are stable and thriving.
Vegetables are donated and distributed weekly to 1,000 NOLA families throughout the city according to USI.
Makin' Groceries with My New Orleans
It’s Monday morning and the warehouse space behind Whole Foods on Broad Street is a hive of activity.
That’s because the community nonprofit Top Box Foods operates out of the building, packing as many as 500 boxes full of fresh and mostly local fruits and veggies for pick up and free delivery to its customers. A typical $20 box might have bell peppers, celery, bananas, apples, onions, berries – most items locally sourced and equal to more than $40 in product if bought at the average grocery store. Anybody can sign up for a variety of boxes at any time and EBT is accepted. Add-ons from an a la carte menu can be anything from meat to honey and seafood. Regular customers help subsidize the group’s Community Food Share program which provides fresh food to neighbors that need a little more help.
Connor Deloach co-founded Top Box New Orleans in 2013, modeling it after the original non-profit in Chicago, where he first started doing this work as a volunteer.
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