Sacramento, California – (work wire) — Thousands of residents who lack food and proper nutrition in Inyo, Mono and Mountain counties will continue to be served this winter by the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) thanks to a $25,000 grant from California Health & Wellness (CHW).
“In rural communities and food deserts with scarce resources, meeting the nutritional needs of Californians is critical to the health and well-being of our local communities and state,” said Martha Santana Chen, president of Medi-Cal for CHW and Health Net. “No one should have to worry about how they are going to serve themselves and their families the next meal.”
The distribution of this food was in doubt after the pandemic forced IMACA to switch to a contactless food distribution model to serve the population. The new approach increased energy demand from refrigerators, freezers, and the aging electrical system in IMCACA’s central warehouse, resulting in a potential collapse of the system as a whole. In addition, with the increase in demand, the risks of electrical fire and spoiled food also increased.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many issues related to food insecurity and hunger,” said Lisa Slough, interim executive director of IMACA. “We are proud that we have been able to meet the needs of hundreds of families over the past two years. By funding this grant, we will expand our storage capabilities and ensure that no one will go hungry in the event of a power outage.”
With this grant, IMACA upgraded the warehouse’s electrical service from 100 amps to 200 amps; install a 30 amp plug for their freezer truck; And the installation of a backup power source for the warehouse cooling system. This allowed IMACA to:
Store more chilled and frozen foods safely;
Avoid spoiling food during shutdown operations for public safety; And,
Supporting the increase in the number of food shipments to the population.
“IMACA is doing an amazing job on behalf of the people of the Eastern Sierra, and I would like to express my gratitude to California Health & Wellness for supporting IMACA’s efforts to ensure that local families have access to food and proper nutrition this winter season,” said John Peters, Mono. District Supervisor and Director of the IMACA Board of Directors.
IMACA serves Inyo and Mono counties, which have an area of more than 14,000 square miles and a population of approximately 35,000 people. The organization serves at least 450 families each month in Walker, Bridgeport, Lee Vining, John Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Benton, Chalvant, Bishop, Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, Keeler, Darwin, Ticopa and Charleston View. IMACA has one full-time employee, three part-time employees, and is supported by 30 amazing volunteers who dedicate their time every month throughout the year.
About California Health & Wellness
At California Health & Wellness, we believe everyone deserves a safety net to stay healthy. That’s why we’ve been providing access to quality health coverage to Californians in 19 rural counties since 2013. In fact, we work as part of the state’s Medi-Cal Managed Care Rural Expansion Program. This expansion provides coverage to people who qualify for Medi-Cal, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other programs. Headquartered in Northern California, our business is based on the core belief that access to quality health care is best served locally. We are committed to helping transform the communities we serve, one person at a time. That’s why we partner with local, regional and community organizations to provide access to healthcare, pharmacy, vision, and transportation services for our members. California Health & Wellness is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC), a Fortune 25 company that provides quality, affordable products to approximately 1 in 15 individuals nationwide.