Nearly $1 million will be invested into two local groups whose missions include healthy living, workforce development, and improving food access in Baton Rouge.
Healthy BR will receive an investment of $715,000 to continue to fight food insecurity and social isolation via the Geaux Get Healthy project. The Humana Foundation, philanthropic arm of Humana Inc. has made this commitment as part of its Strategic Community Investment Program in Baton Rouge. The Foundation began a partnership with Healthy BR in 2018 with an initial investment of $725,000.
HOPE Ministries will receive an additional $189,700 as a key partner in the Geaux Get Healthy project, allowing for an expansion of the program’s workforce development program. By investing in HOPE Ministries, The Humana Foundation is expanding its Strategic Community Investment in Baton Rouge.
“Working alongside our community, we are addressing food and asset security, improving the lives and health of all Baton Rouge residents,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “I’m encouraged by the initial results Geaux Get Healthy saw in its first year, especially the eight new locations where residents of North Baton Rouge can now purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m excited to see how an expanded workforce development program will help our community continue to grow and prosper.”
HealthyBR is a community coalition that hopes to inspire a healthier Baton Rouge for all residents. Funded by both The Humana Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Geaux Get Healthy, a HealthyBR project, works in the Baton Rouge zip codes with the highest rates of food insecurity and health disparities across north Baton Rouge. Together with a coalition of local partners, the program addresses food deserts by saturating this region with numerous access points for purchasing fresh food at an affordable price. The program also provides educational programs to help increase fresh food consumption and social connectedness.
As part of the Geaux Get Healthy project, The Humana Foundation is also beginning a new investment with HOPE Ministries, an organization working to prevent homelessness and promote self-sufficiency and dignity in Baton Rouge. The Foundation’s investment will be used to address post-secondary attainment and sustaining employment, expanding a workforce development program called The Way to Work.
“Workforce opportunities and retention are an ongoing topic in Baton Rouge and Louisiana, as a whole. HOPE Ministries’ The Way to Work Division provides a unique workforce solution that helps people keep jobs and companies keep people,” said Janet Simmons, President and CEO of HOPE Ministries. “Thanks to The Humana Foundation, The Way to Work division is increasing capacity thereby increasing the opportunity for more people to gain access to sustainable employment.”
Each organization that receives a Humana Foundation Strategic Community Investment has the opportunity to receive continued funding for up to three years based on the specifics results achieved in their programs.
The Humana Foundation’s Strategic Community Investment Program
Through partnerships with local organizations and community members, The Humana Foundation’sStrategic Community Investment Program creates measurable results in some of the most common social determinants of health, including post-secondary attainment and sustaining employment, social connectedness, financial asset security and food security. These investments are located in Humana ‘Bold Goal’ communities, places where Humana and The Humana Foundation are working to help people improve their health 20 percent by 2020 and beyond.
In the first year of the Strategic Community Investment Program, The Humana Foundation invested $7 million in seven communities and funded programs that served more than 16,000 individuals and their families, addressing one or more social determinant of health. Each of these seven communities will receive continued or expanded Humana Foundation investments based on the measurable results each program attained in its first year. The Humana Foundation is also undertaking two new Strategic Community Investments in New Orleans, funding two organizations for a total of $1 million.
The Humana Foundation’s continuing and expanded Strategic Community Investments include the following locations: Baton Rouge, La., Broward County, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla.; Knoxville, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., New Orleans, San Antonio and Tampa.
ONLINE: Strategic Community Investment