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Health Care
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 26, 202110:52 AM EST

UNF and Humana partner to feed older adults

The university is working with the health care provider to expand the Meals on Wings program.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

 The University of North Florida and Humana Inc. have a new partnership to find ways to improve the health of people in Northeast Florida by addressing social needs.

The program builds on the work the organizations, along with other community partners, are doing as part of Humana’s Jacksonville Bold Goal to improve the health of people.

“UNF shares our commitment to identifying and solving the needs, risk factors and social determinants of health that impact our community. We’re confident that together, we’ll be able to build programs and identify resources that will benefit markets across the country,” said Dr. John Montgomery, Humana’s lead market medical officer and Jacksonville Bold Goal co-chair, in a news release. 

Initially, Humana and the university will develop projects that address food insecurity among older adults.

For that age group, social risk factors like food insecurity can be particularly difficult because of the health, economic and nutritional challenges that can come with aging.

To support food security among homebound older adults, the university’s Meals on Wings program will expand by increasing the number of people who receive meal assistance.

Developed by the UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security, the program collects food from area hospitals that otherwise would be wasted and repackages it into healthful meals. Student volunteers recover the food, prepare the meals and deliver them to participants.

“Strategic public-private partnerships like this are critical for supporting and enhancing community health. It is my hope that the educational, research and clinical outcomes associated with these projects will benefit, not only our local community, but communities throughout the country,” said Dr. Curt Lox, dean of the UNF Brooks College of Health.

In addition, UNF is working with Humana to develop a food insecurity screening method designed for older adults. 

UNF’s Center for Nutrition and Food Security said it is a gateway for nonprofits, government programs, professional organizations and industry personnel to explore solutions to food insecurity and malnutrition.

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