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11/20/20

Offering Hope and Help This Thanksgiving and Beyond

 

Thanksgiving is about sharing a meal with our family and loved ones, diving in to a tasty feast that leaves our stomachs and hearts full. It’s a celebration full of food, from turkey and stuffing to pie and whipped cream.

This Thanksgiving might not look like others because of social distancing and coronavirus safety measures, but that’s not the only reason celebrations might be different.

For some, this Thanksgiving will underscore an ongoing struggle with hunger, as more than 50 million people face food insecurity made worse by COVID-19. Take for example Alice, a 75-year-old Humana member living alone and unsure where she’d find her next meal.

When Mary, a Humana at Home care manager, reached out to Alice, she found a troubling situation. COVID-19 intensified Alice’s existing anxiety and left her unable to leave her home for groceries. With just two days of food left, Alice told Mary she was afraid to eat what was in her pantry because she worried her staples were too high in sodium and could affect her health. To make matters worse, her gas had recently been shut off, and Alice was worried how she was going to care for herself.

Mary moved quickly to identify, coordinate and connect Alice with community resources to help. She began by calling local emergency services, including a local on-call social worker, to help restore Alice’s gas service. Next, Mary addressed Alice’s food situation, coordinating a Meals on Wheels delivery to address Alice’s immediate needs. Then, she arranged for Humana’s Basic Needs program to ship 14 meals to Alice’s door, ensuring she had food in her pantry for at least two weeks. Before ending the call, Mary spent some time talking to Alice about lower sodium recipes she can easily make at home and local resources to help make sure Alice has enough food to eat.

When Mary called back a few days later, she could hear the relief in Alice’s voice. By showing Alice how much she cared, Mary addressed more than food delivery or gas service. Mary’s calls and the easy manner she solved problems meant the world to Alice, giving her relief and a sense of hope knowing someone was looking out for her.

Donate a Thanksgiving meal to families facing hunger

Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the U.S., has a network of more than 200 food banks throughout the country that work with food pantries and soup kitchens in local communities. The best place to start if you’d like to donate a Thanksgiving meal is by finding your local food bank and checking if they have specific requests for food items or donations.

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