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CenCal Health Donates $400,000 to Feed Seniors on Central Coast

Two Senior Meal Programs in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties
Each Receive $100,000 from Local Health Plan, plus $100,000 in Matching
Funds

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACA?src=hash" target="_blank"gt;#ACAlt;/agt;–Two events this month highlighted the need for funding Senior Meal
programs on the Central Coast. This past Friday in Solvang, Community
Action Commission of Santa Barbara County
(CAC) presented the annual Community
Action Champions
dinner that raised much-needed funds for its Senior
Healthy Meal
program. CenCal
Health
committed up to $100,000 in matching funds to this
community-based senior nutrition initiative, in addition to a $100,000
gift. CAC raised close to $350,000 with this support from CenCal Health.
On May 11, Meals
That Connect
, a San Luis Obispo County non-profit that
serves daily nutritious meals to seniors, hosted its annual fundraising
event at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. With a $100,000 gift
from CenCal Health, and an additional contribution of matching
funds, Meals That Connect raised over $373,000. This money will
provide noontime meals in ten community service centers around the
county, as well as meals to homebound seniors.

“Serving 156,000 meals a year to those in need in Santa Barbara County
requires a well-funded food service operation,” said Anthony “Tony”
Mitchell
, Chief Operating Officer for CAC. “CenCal Health’s
continued support of our Senior Healthy Meal program makes a
vital difference to the health and well-being of many seniors in the
community.”

Almost 4 million seniors suffer from malnutrition in the United States.
Seniors living alone can often feel depressed and isolated. Every aspect
of obtaining nutrition can be a hurdle for seniors: transportation for
shopping, the cost of quality food, cooking safely at home and dental
health. Because these factors together exacerbate health problems,
senior nutrition and the related social interaction is increasingly
recognized as a key Social Determinant of Health that health
plans must address. “These two local organizations both exemplify our
mission at CenCal Health: to improve the health and well-being of the
community,” said Bob Freeman, CEO of CenCal Health. “Good
nutrition is one of the best ways to encourage good health, and breaking
bread with others feeds the spirit and allows people to lead a fuller
life.”

“I have delivered many meals to homebound seniors and experienced
first-hand, the dire need many older men and women have for life’s
necessities,” said Elias Nimeh, Executive Director of Meals
That Connect
. “I have visited meal serving sites throughout the
County during lunch time, and witnessed the eagerness of seniors to
visit with each other every day during this important lunch hour. To
some of them, the socialization is as important as the meal itself. The
partnership with CenCal Health has been a gift like no other to our
senior community.”

About CenCal Health

CenCal Health’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the
communities we serve by providing access to high quality health
services, along with education and outreach, for our membership. As a
public entity, CenCal Health is a community-accountable health plan
partnering with over 1,500 local physicians, hospitals and other
providers in delivering exceptional patient care to more than 175,000
members – about one in four residents of Santa Barbara County and one in
five residents of San Luis Obispo County. Established in 1983, it is the
oldest managed Medicaid plan of its kind in the nation. CenCal Health
employs close to 250 people at offices in both Santa Barbara and San
Luis Obispo, and contributes approximately $50 million a month into the
local economy, primarily through payments to healthcare providers who
serve their membership. www.cencalhealth.org/

Contacts

CenCal Health Contact:
Nicolette Worley Marselian
1 (805)
685-9525, ext. 1993
[email protected]

Media Contact:
Sheri Mobley
1 (805) 845-5627
1 (213)
509-9816
[email protected]

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