GREENVILLE, Miss. (January 19, 2023) – Today, Mars Food, Delta Group, The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”) and the Community Foundation of Washington County in Mississippi announced a partnership to create the Washington County Food Access Improvement Fund (“The Fund”) along with a commitment of more than $400,000 to the fund over the next three years. The fund will provide long-term support by making grants to food pantries and other non-profit organizations that provide access to healthy food for Greenville and Washington County-area residents.
Beginning January 30, 2023, through March 3, 2023, the Community Foundation of Washington County will accept grant applications from food pantries and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Grants will focus on assisting food pantries in developing and implementing plans for sustained community impact, including growing their capacity, increasing the quantity of healthy food distributed to at-risk and vulnerable populations, and improving access to healthy foods in outlying areas in Washington County – where there is a 22.9% food insecurity rate.
“It’s critical that we continue to invest in Greenville, where we have produced Ben’s Original™ rice for more than 40 years,” said Denis Yarotskiy, Regional President, Mars Food North America. “Partnering with local businesses like Delta Group means we can take a long-term, systemic approach to positively impact food insecurity and the health and wellness of Washington County communities.”
The Fund is the second iteration of the Mars Food and The MolinaCares Accord collaboration, which committed to donating approximately 70,000 healthy meals* (including produce and protein) per year. The two entities first partnered in 2021 to expand access to healthy foods across the Delta Region.
“A top priority of MolinaCares is addressing food insecurity to improve better health outcomes in the community” said Carolyn Ingram, executive director of The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation. “We are proud to work alongside Mars Food, the Delta Group, and Community Foundation of Washington County to ensure individuals have access to nutritious food and other resources to improve their overall health and well-being.”
To ensure longevity of this initiative to impact food insecurity in Mississippi, the Washington County Food Access Improvement Fund was set up through the Community Foundation of Washington County – one of 700 across the United States formed to help individuals, families, and corporations connect with causes that matter to create a thriving community for all.
Additionally, the Community Foundation will assist in soliciting more investments from residents, organizations, and other area businesses to support the funds sustainability.
“Since its inception in 1925, Delta Group has always been committed to serving the Delta region through many charitable and philanthropic efforts. After being closely connected to the growing food insecurity in our communities since the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Group is pleased to join the Community Foundation of Washington County, Mars Food North America and The MolinaCares Accord in their efforts to create a systemic and coordinated approach to positively impact food insecurity in our community,” stated Joe Nash, Chief Operating Officer of Delta Group.
“The Community Foundation of Washington County is thrilled to be working with companies like, Mars Food, the Delta Group and MolinaCares to help improve access to healthy food for at-risk and vulnerable residents throughout Washington County. This is an excellent model of how a community can work together to create a sustainable approach to battle food insecurities,” said Melanie Powell, Community Foundation of Washington County, Executive Director.
For more information on how to donate or the grant process please contact the foundation office via email at email@example.com or by phone (662) 580-4500.
*According to the USDA, 1.2 pounds is equivalent to one meal.
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 https://www.bensoriginal.com/ or https://www.mars.com/.
About Delta Group
Delta Group, the umbrella organization for Ayres-Delta Implement, Inc., Delta Implement Company and Planters Equipment Company, is one of the premier farm equipment dealerships in Mississippi with locations in Cleveland, Greenwood, Leland and Yazoo City. Service has always been the cornerstone of our company. Taking care of our team members, our customers and the communities that we serve is an essential core value of our company. To learn more about Delta Group, please visit our website at delta-grp.com.
About Community Foundation of Washington County
From its inception in 2012, the Community Foundation of Washington County has kept a single, unwavering mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter to create a thriving community for all. With more than $3.0 million in managed assets and over 70 funds under the Foundation’s umbrella, the Community Foundation has established an accountable and transparent way for donors to make their philanthropic dreams a reality. For more information about the Community Foundation of Washington County please visit our website www.cfwashco.org.
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, 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/Mississippi CAN and Children’s Health Insurance Plan/CHIP) and Marketplace. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 5.2 million members as of September 30, 2022. For more information about Molina Healthcare of Mississippi, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.