BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Sept. 25, 2023—Cigna Healthcare, the health benefits provider of The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI), is investing $1 million in national and community-based organizations this fall to address food insecurity among older Americans. Collectively, the funds are expected to provide more than 3 million meals to people in need, increase access to 1.88 million pounds of fresh produce, and save 21 million gallons of water and 2.89 tons of CO2e emissions in responsible food distribution, supporting better health and positively impacting the environment.
“Too many people in our country, including older adults, face challenges with food insecurity, which can lead to worsening health and vitality,” said J.B. Sobel, M.D., chief medical officer for Cigna Healthcare’s Medicare business. “Older adults are more likely to have various health conditions requiring specific diets to maintain and improve their health. Regular, reliable, healthy food can improve the health and vitality of older adults, and we are committed to giving each person the opportunity to live well.”
Fifty-six innovative programs spanning 12 states received critical financial support enabling them to reach thousands of seniors who face food insecurity. The organizations range from local Meals on Wheels chapters and food banks to senior- and veteran-focused coalitions and centers. The sponsorships will also fund food- and nutrition-based programs, such as food pantries, mobile food deliveries, and nutritional meal boxes.
Additionally, Cigna Healthcare is the first health benefits provider to exclusively sponsor The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit organization that connects farms with surplus harvest to communities around the United States. By connecting farmers to food banks, nutritious food is more accessible to those in need.
“We are incredibly proud to be partnering with Cigna Healthcare to rescue millions of meals this season,” said Aidan Reilly, co-founder and head of partnerships at The Farmlink Project. “Access to fresh and healthy food is vital for anyone to reach their healthiest, fullest potential, yet millions of Americans struggle with food insecurity each year. Through this partnership, we will be able to provide access to fresh produce to families across the country throughout the fall and holiday seasons, a time when it is needed most.”
Currently, one in 14 seniors face hunger in the United States, and six in 10 Americans have at least one chronic disease, many exacerbated by unhealthy diets. These diet-related chronic diseases account for nearly 20% of all U.S. health care costs annually.
Food insecurity is a barrier that impacts access to care and contributes to health inequities. Addressing food insecurity among seniors is important to Cigna Healthcare, which offers Medicare Advantage plans to hundreds of thousands of older adults across the country.
About Cigna Healthcare
Cigna Healthcare is a health benefits provider that advocates for better health through every stage of life. We guide our customers through the health care system, empowering them with the information and insight they need to make the best choices for improving their health and vitality. Products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group (NYSE:CI), including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Evernorth Health companies or their affiliates and Express Scripts companies or their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and others. Learn more at cignahealthcare.com.