(WBIR - Knoxville) A program to help feed hungry families in East Tennessee got a big boost on Friday.
The United Healthcare Community Plan donated $50,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank's mobile pantry.
The gift is part of the company's initiative to prevent hunger, diabetes and obesity. It's enough to fund 16 mobile pantry events, which target families in rural and urban communities who have jobs, but are struggling to make ends meet.
"This food being more focused on nutrition is essential because the working poor are three times as likely than the middle class to suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. And a good portion of the reason why is because they aren't eating properly," said John Bell, development director of Second Harvest Food Bank.
"It's sort of difficult to focus on your healthcare needs if you haven't had your basic needs met. Those include food, clothing, shelter, and those are all things that we as an organization are focused on," said Doug Rodgers, executive director of United Healthcare.
Volunteers from United Healthcare also helped sort, package and give out food with Second Harvest.