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United Health Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Support Vulnerable Louisiana Residents Amid COVID-19 Emergency

Partnerships with Covenant House New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans are part of initial $50 million commitment from UnitedHealth Group to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities.

The United Health Foundation has committed $500,000 to provide urgent assistance to Louisiana residents experiencing homelessness and food insecurity as they face unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnerships with Covenant House New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans are part of UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) previously announced initial $50 million commitment to fight COVID-19 and support those most directly impacted, including health care workers, hard-hit communities, seniors and people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

“The COVID-19 public health emergency has compounded the many challenges faced by Louisiana’s most vulnerable residents, such as those experiencing homelessness, hunger or food insecurity,” said Warren Murrell, chief executive officer, Peoples Health and UnitedHealthcare Government Programs, Louisiana. Our partnerships with Covenant House New Orleans and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans will provide critical aid to communities who need it most.”


The partnerships in Louisiana include:

  • $250,000 to Covenant House New Orleans to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, counseling and job placement to more than 200 homeless young people 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and
  • $250,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans to purchase, transport and deliver meals and grocery boxes for children, seniors and families.

“Covenant House is on the front lines of the pandemic, serving as the last line of defense for our community’s most vulnerable young people. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are caring for over 200 youth and children — the most in our history,” said James R. Kelly, executive director, Covenant House New Orleans. “Our partnership with the United Health Foundation will help to ensure that, during this crisis, no matter how many at-risk youth knock on our door, there will always be room for one more.”

“One in five households in South Louisiana are at risk of hunger. As unemployment skyrockets and schools remain closed, the demand on food pantries is increasing,” said Natalie Jayroe, president and chief executive officer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans. “The generous support from the United Health Foundation will allow us to provide meals to children, seniors and families who are in critical need.”

UnitedHealth Group, including UnitedHealthcare, Optum and the United Health Foundation, has a long history of addressing homelessness and food insecurity — key determinants of health among vulnerable populations in Louisiana and across the country. The United Health Foundation recently announced $5 million in national partnerships with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the Feeding America network of member food banks, and Meals on Wheels America as part of its commitment to fight COVID-19 and support impacted communities.

About Covenant House New Orleans

For 30 years, Covenant House has offered a lifeline for at-risk and homeless youth, recognizing their inherent goodness and boundless potential. Covenant House New Orleans is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Much more than “just a shelter,” CHNOLA provides supportive counseling, case management and all the tools needed to help youth become independent, productive members of our community.

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans

Second Harvest Food Bank leads the fight against hunger in South Louisiana by providing food access, advocacy, education and disaster response. Second Harvest provides food and support to 700+ community partners and programs across 23 parishes. Staff and volunteers distribute the equivalent of more than 32 million meals to 210,000+ people a year.

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.




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