JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – UnitedHealthcare awarded $500,000 in Empowering Health grants to four community-based organizations in Mississippi. Leaders said the funds would expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.

The grants will assist individuals and families experiencing challenges from food insecurity, social isolation and behavioral health issues, and support local health promotion and health literacy efforts.

Grant recipients in Mississippi include:

  • American Heart Association, Jackson and the Gulf Coast – $150,000 to address nutrition security by implementing food pantries through a collaboration with federally qualified health centers in central Mississippi and community partners on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South, Northwest Mississippi – $125,000 to expand the Y on the Fly program to bring health education and nutritious food directly to youth in their communities.
  • Mississippi Urban League, statewide – $125,000 to support the Seniors Travel Program, addressing social isolation in older adults across the state.
  • Mississippi State University Extension, North Mississippi – $100,000 to expand the Junior Master Wellness Volunteer Program, which equips youth for community service projects to increase availability of health education materials in communities.

“Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health,” said Dr. Michael Parnell, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi. “Through our Empowering Health grants and local outreach efforts from UnitedHealthcare, we’re working with local organizations in the state to provide Mississippi residents with an interconnected system of clinical and social services that can produce better health outcomes and make the health system work better for everyone.”