JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Monday, the Mississippi Food Network announced it received $100,000 from The Humana Foundation to assist with mobile food pantries in Clarke, Jasper and Kemper counties. The funds will be used to help the food bank improve access to nutritious food by providing direct assistance to senior citizens in rural communities, including Black households, disproportionately affected by hunger.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, senior citizens living in rural Clarke, Jasper and Kemper Counties have few resources for fresh produce while facing food insecurity rates ranging from 18.5% to 22.1%,” said Kelly Mott, Director of External Affairs of Mississippi Food Network. “Throughout our response to this health and economic crisis, mobile food pantries have become a critical solution to helping us reach our neighbors in need. We are grateful to The Humana Foundation for supporting our efforts of expanding mobile food pantries to better serve rural communities, including Black households, that experience high rates of food insecurity.”

“Improving food security is one of The Humana Foundation’s core areas of focus. In communities where nutritious foods are inaccessible due to proximity, financial circumstances, and other barriers, this gap leads to preventable chronic diet-related conditions like diabetes and heart disease. The Humana Foundation is proud to continue our partnership with Feeding America as we work to achieve greater health equity and our shared goal of ensuring that everyone has the nourishment necessary to achieve and sustain positive health and well-being outcomes,” said Walter Woods, CEO of The Humana Foundation.

Mississippi Food Network will use funds from The Humana Foundation to provide food to senior citizens in rural Clarke, Jasper and Kemper Counties through mobile food pantry distributions. The program will distribute boxes of fresh produce and shelf-stable food to an estimated 350 senior citizens facing hunger.