Kaiser Permanente has awarded Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii a $50,000 grant to support its Māna ‘ai Food Distribution Program. The program, run by HMHB and Lanakila Pacific, aims to improve Hawaii’s maternal, child and family health by providing healthy meals and nutrition education to underserved mothers and families.
The grant will enable Lanakila Pacific to prepare 6,250 meals that will be delivered by HMHB to nearly 900 families. During visits, HMHB will also offer families assistance in enrolling in public programs supporting food security and health, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In addition to providing nutritionally complete meals, the Māna ‘ai program also assists new and expectant mothers in underserved communities by providing access to lactation consultants, program managers, nurse practitioners, midwives and doulas, who are part of the HMHB network of support. For approximately 90% of HMHB’s clients, Māna ‘ai is the first introduction to HMHB’s services.
“Good nutrition is key to maternal health and the health of keiki,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii Market President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “We’re proud to support the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii and promote healthy pregnancies and safe early childhood development for families.”
In Hawaii, 136,190 people face hunger; of them, 50,180 are children. Studies show that people without consistent access to adequate food spend about 45% more money on medical care each year than people in food-secure households. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to addressing food insecurity in the communities it serves. Through its Food for Life program, it takes a comprehensive approach to transform the economic, social and policy environments connected to food so that people across the nation have access to and can afford healthy food. This grant is part of a larger portfolio of donations and partnerships the organization has taken on to find a sustainable end to hunger in America.