Livestrong: California doctors are prescribing food to sick people, and here’s why it’s working

By: Leah Groth  | May 15, 2018

The program, launched on Friday by the California Food Is Medicine Coalition alongside Senator Ben Allen (D) and assembly members Blanca Rubio (D) and Richard Bloom (D), will deliver free, custom-prescribed meals to individuals insured by Medicaid and suffering from congestive heart failure (a chronic heart condition that requires strict dietary adherence).

“We provide meals to people who are critically ill and we have seen results where you actually bring down healthcare costs because they stay out of the hospital longer, they adhere to their medication and they don’t go to the emergency room as often,” explains Richard Ayoub, executive director of Project Angel Food, one of the non-profit organizations participating in the new program.

According to Ayoub, Project Angel Food and the other five organizations involved in California’s new pilot program — Ceres Community Project, Project Open Hand, Mama’s Kitchen, Health Trust and Food for Thought — have been delivering meals to sick people for years. Now, their services will be reimbursed through Medicaid.

Continue reading the article. 

NY Times: Cod and ‘Immune Broth’ – California Tests Food as Medicine

By: Patricia Leigh Brown | May 11, 2018

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. — On a foggy afternoon, Diana Van Ry, a retired judicial assistant, dropped by the boisterous kitchens of the nonprofit group where she volunteers to pick up rock cod, cauliflower couscous and an “immune broth” enriched with vegetables and seaweed. She planned to deliver the meals to Brandi Dornan, 46, who is recuperating from breast cancer.

“It’s food I wouldn’t have thought to make myself,” said Ms. Dornan, who started getting the meals during radiation therapy and is grateful for the help. “Wow, bless their hearts.”

The Ceres Community Project — its meals prepared for cancer patients by teenage sous-chefs — is at the forefront of the “food as medicine” approach increasingly embraced by physicians, health insurers, researchers and public health officials.

The group is now participating in an ambitious, state-funded study to test whether providing daily nutritious meals to chronically ill, low-income people on Medi-Cal — California’s version of the Medicaid program — will affect their prognosis and treatment, or the cost of their medical care.

Continue reading the article. 

HuffPost: California Becomes The First State To Prescribe Food As Medicine

In one pilot program, doctor-approved meals lowered health care costs by 55 percent

By: Anna Almendrala | May 8, 2018

Caren Latney was too weak to do simple household chores.

The 51-year-old had been diagnosed with lung cancer and, as she began treatment, struggled to stand over her stove long enough to prepare a meal. She didn’t really want to eat, anyway ― her intensive chemotherapy and radiation left her nauseated and exhausted. But high-calorie, protein-rich meals are essential for cancer patients, who face extreme weight loss, according to cancer experts.

The American Cancer Society recommends eating with other family members to make meals more enjoyable, and has suggestions for caregivers like fixing six to eight small meals, making smoothies and preparing bland foods to keep nausea at bay. But Latney, single with no family and on a fixed income, had no one available to help her prepare food. Insured by both Medicaid and Medicare for her cancer treatment, Latney couldn’t even afford to buy the amount of food required to survive her treatment, much less cook it.

Latney’s lack of social and financial support put her at risk of dying from her cancer treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy can cause patients to lose their appetite or suffer from nausea, causing extreme weight loss that can be life-threatening.

Her clinic was able to connect her with a local nonprofit organization that delivers a complete supply of food — three meals and one snack per day, every week — to low-income people who are in danger of malnutrition during a serious illness.

Eight years later, Latney, now 59, is still receiving the free meals from MANNA, or the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance in Philadelphia, and the cancer has spread from the lung to the liver. But she credits the organization for helping her survive as long as she has.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I would not be here” without those delivered meals, Latney said.

Published research into MANNA’s work showed the meals had an impact on patient quality of life — and also major reductions in hospital costs, catching the attention of politicians in California. With high rates of food insecurity, chronic illness and Medicaid enrollment, California was looking for a way to bring down the overall costs of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, with efforts that have a proven return on investment.

The new pilot program, which officially launched Friday with help from state senator Ben Allen (D) and California assembly members Blanca Rubio (D) and Richard Bloom (D), funds six nonprofit organizations throughout California that will deliver free meals to those who are insured by Medicaid and need a specific diet to help them manage their medical condition.

Nutritious, plentiful food plays an outsized role in helping people recover from major illness or live with a chronic condition. In addition to cancer treatment, which requires patients to eat high-calorie meals, people with cardiovascular illnesses may benefit from low-sodium food, while those with type 2 diabetes can better manage their disease with meals that are low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Across the country, an estimated one in eight Americans ― 42 million in total ― are food insecure. Not only does this mean that they may be experiencing hunger, but that the kinds of food they do eat are not nutritious enough to sustain an active, healthy life. At the same time, rates of chronic disease caused by poor nutrition are rising, and the more food insecure you are, the more likely you are to have chronic diseases like hypertension, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes and arthritis.

Despite its importance, food during an illness can often be an afterthought. Crucially, it is not covered by any medical insurance plan. Instead, people like Latney have to rely on nonprofits or charity to help them fill the nutrition gap, and not all cities have organizations that can help.

Organizations like MANNA are sorely needed throughout the U.S. About one in 10 adults on Medicaid has diagnosed diabetes and more than one in four have some kind of cardiovascular disease. What patients eat can have a major impact on their health outcomes.

But there are only 27 member organizations in 18 states and Washington, D.C., in the national Food Is Medicine Coalition, an association of nonprofit organizations that provide medically tailored food to people with serious or long-term illnesses.

Around the time that Latney began receiving her meals, researchers were also collecting data on how MANNA clients’ medical costs compared to other low-income patients with similar medical conditions who did not receive free meals.

They found that recipients of these free meals had average monthly medical costs that were 55 percent lower than Medicaid patients who didn’t get delivered meals. Hospital admission and duration rates were also significantly lower than the control group. Most strikingly, people who received meals from MANNA and were later hospitalized were 23 percent more likely to be discharged back to their homes as opposed to a long-term care or rehabilitation facility when compared to the control group.

Since this small study was published in 2013, all four companies that administer Medicaid locally throughout southeastern Pennsylvania have signed contracts with MANNA to deliver specially tailored meals for select patients with diabetes and cancer in an effort to lower state hospitalization costs.

California, where more than a third of its population is covered by Medicaid and one in eight people aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from, took notice.

Its new 12-week Medi-Cal pilot program will deliver specially formulated meals, as well as in-home visits from a registered dietitian, to 1,000 people with congestive heart failure — a patient group that has one of the highest rates of hospital readmissions within 30 days.

This three-year program will cost $6 million in total, and the money is spread out across six nonprofits throughout California, including Project Angel Food in Los Angeles County.

Richard Ayoub, CEO of the organization, notes that the extremely limiting diet that congestive heart failure patients have to follow would be challenging for people of any income level, let alone people who sometimes have to choose between paying for health care and paying for food.

People with congestive heart failure can have only two grams of sodium — less than one teaspoon ― a day. Any more will encourage the body to retain water, which increases the volume of blood and forces an already weakened heart to work harder. Processed food would be a cheap, convenient choice for these patients, but these products are usually high in sodium.

If the Food Is Medicine pilot program succeeds in demonstrating significant cost savings for Medicaid, known in California as Medi-Cal, the ripple effects could be enormous.

“We believe food is medicine and that this food will keep people out of the hospital, thus saving Medi-Cal hundred of thousands, if not millions, of dollars,” said Ayoub.

If Medi-Cal makes food a health benefit as Ayoub hopes, the federal government could assess the return on investment and conclude that food should be a nationwide Medicaid benefit.

John Baackes,CEO of LA Care Health Plan, one of the public agencies that administers Medicaid insurance in Los Angeles county, praised California’s pilot project as the investment the movement needed to mount a national case for food as a component of health care. He sees the state’s pilot program as one small step in the direction of re-imagining medical care to include social services that affect health, from housing to food security.

“We’re very anxious to see a program like this lead to policy changes,” he said.

As researchers and policymakers wait for the data from California’s pilot project to start rolling in, Latney pointed out that no matter what the return is for the state, the effect these meals will have on people struggling to survive will be immeasurable.

“They want to have not only a meal, but a meal that’s designed for them to survive,” she said. “I think it’s going to have a very, very big impact.”

Read the original HuffPost article here.

The Health Trust Makes Health Partnership Grants totaling over $363,000

For Immediate Release: March 23, 2018
The Health Trust Contact: Maria Garcia, or (408) 513-8729

San Jose, CA, March 23, 2017 – On March 21, 2018, The Health Trust Board of Trustees approved six Health Partnership grants totaling $363,002 to support The Health Trust’s mission of building health equity in Silicon Valley. Specifically, the awarded grants will support community events that promote physical activity, increase food access for individuals living in affordable, supportive housing complexes and mobile home parks not currently accessing any food services, and increase the capacity of the only community partner delivering meals to shelters during the weekend.

Breakdown of Grants

City of San Jose, Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services
Modeled after other successful open street programs across the state, country and world, Viva Calle SJ reinforces the importance of engaging its residents in open space through strong promotion of physical activities in all forms, and social engagement. Viva CalleSJ plans to close six-miles of San Jose streets, the route designs promote the inclusivity of all communities, regardless of socioeconomic status, providing vulnerable communities the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities in a fun and safe way. Health Trust funding in the amount of $10,000 will support the 2018 Viva CalleSJ Open Streets Program.

Community Seva
Currently, providers that offer food assistance operate on a Monday-Friday schedule, leaving individuals who rely on food assistance without access to food programs during the weekend. Community Seva is the only community partner delivering meals to shelters during the weekend, and thus addressing a critical food security gap. In an effort to increase its capacity, Community Seva plans to open a commercial kitchen made possible by the City of San Jose, Department of Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services. By operating its own commercial kitchen, Community Seva will increase the number of meals served, as well as increase its volunteer base. Over the next ten months, and through a $13,250 grant from The Health Trust, Community Seva will purchase the necessary equipment for its commercial kitchen and host its inaugural gala fundraiser that will help generate critical funding to support its services.

Happy Hollow Foundation
The Senior Safari Walkabout serves as a model that promotes AGE friendly communities by demonstrating that programs that were originally conceptualized for children and families can also serve as a great benefit for older adults. Through Health Trust support of $10,000, Happy Hollow Foundation will host six free events, exclusively for older adults that promote physical activity and social engagement at the San Jose zoo.

John Snow, Inc. (JSI).
Understanding barriers that exist when accessing wrap-around services for individuals who are HIV+ is critical to their overall health and wellbeing. Accordingly, through a $37,752 grant from The Health Trust, JSI seeks to identify barriers that exist on an individual and policy/system level. This assessment will provide great community benefit, as it will help organizations who serve individuals that are HIV+ understand and address current barriers.

Second Harvest Food Bank
There are hundreds of individuals living in affordable, supportive housing complexes and mobile home parks not currently accessing any food services. In an effort to address this critical need, over the next 24 months, and through a $202,000 grant from The Health Trust, the Second Harvest Food Bank plans to increase its food services targeting sites identified in the Food for Everyone (FFE) report. The Food Bank currently provides services to 10 FFE sites and plan to increase to an additional 22 sites. In addition to providing immediate support to residents, the Food Bank also plans to work on long-term impact by partnering with The Health Trust and the City of San Jose’s Housing Department to guide the establishment of standards that would require food access to be a part of new housing developments.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation
In the County of Santa Clara, approximately 28% of children and teens are obese or overweight. Engaging in regular exercise can help improve their health and academic performance. More importantly, when children engage in physical activity at an early age, it becomes a part of their life style. In an effort to encourage and support physical activity for youth during school and after school hours, over the next 24 months and through a $90,000 Health Trust grant, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation (SVLGF) will partner with the YMCA of Silicon Valley and the Earthquake Foundation to provide physical activity equipment targeting high need communities, as well as to renovate the Boys & Girls Club, Smythe Clubhouse located in East San Jose.

# # #

About The Health Trust
The Health Trust is an operating foundation founded in 1996. Our mission is to build health equity in Silicon Valley. We believe everyone should be afforded the opportunity to be healthy – especially the most vulnerable. To that end, we provide direct services, fund community-based organizations whose work aligns with our mission, and advocate for policies and initiatives that help advance our mission. With regard to grants, The Health Trust prioritizes projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Bolsters health promotion and primary prevention efforts
  • Includes a system, policy, practice, or environmental change that can have an impact beyond the grant period
  • Includes a feasible sustainability plan
  • Follows promising and best practices

For more information, visit

The Health Trust Board of Trustees adds a new member: Joann Zimmerman

On March 21, 2018, The Health Trust Board of Trustees unanimously approved the addition of Joann Zimmerman, an experienced Health Care CEO and community health care advocate, to The Health Trust Board of Trustees. Joann brings with her a wealth of experience in navigating the health care system and making it accessible to everyone. Her diverse set of skills that will further strengthen our board.

Please join us in welcoming Joann Zimmerman to The Health Trust.

About Joann Zimmerman
Joann Zimmerman is an experienced Health Care CEO and community health care advocate.

Joann’s leadership over the past 30 years has focused on improving the patient care experience, providing access to health care for everyone and health care equity for all citizens. Joann has a burning passion for developing health care leaders who represent the communities they serve.She has assisted numerous emerging leaders reach their professional goals and maximize their capabilities. Joann is knowledgeable about health care delivery system operations and she is sought out to speak about them in community forums.

Joann received a BA in Communications and Public Policy from UC Berkeley; a Diploma in Nursing fromSt. Luke’s School of Nursing; a MS in Health Education from San Francisco State University and a Certificate of Completion of the Stanford University Business School Executive Program.

Microsoft Spotlight on Leaders: Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, Executive Director, SOMOS Mayfair

By: Jessica Weare | March 13, 2018

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re putting the spotlight on five community leaders in San Jose, and sharing their insights about the civic issues facing Silicon Valley, their approach to leadership, and the key projects they’ll tackle in 2018.

Camille Llanes-Fontanilla [Health Trust Board of Trustees member] serves as Executive Director of SOMOS Mayfair, a nonprofit in east San José that supports children, organizes families, and connects neighbors to uplift the dreams, power, and leadership of community and address systemic inequities.

What is your favorite place in San José?

My favorite place in San José is Emma Prusch Farm Park for a few reasons. I was born and raised in East San José. My grandfather tilled a piece of the community garden at Emma Prusch Farm Park, my son had his first birthday there, my husband is now on the board of Veggielution, and so I feel like it’s just a part of who I am.

Emma Prusch Farm Park is also a space here in San José that is full access. You don’t have to pay for parking; you don’t have to pay to see the animals. I think about all the other assets in San José and the equity issues that I spend a lot of my life working on, and it comes to full fruition at that farm. Kids and families from all over the city can go there, without barriers, and enjoy it.

How do you see SOMOS Mayfair’s role in the San José ecosystem? What issues you trying to address as an organization?

SOMOS’s place-based, intentional leadership development model is based on the premise that leadership can come in all forms: it can come from our Mayfair community, it can come from a monolingual, Spanish-speaking immigrant woman. We know that that she is powerful and can make a difference in her home, schools, and community. We center our work on this philosophy and recruit, train, and organize resident leaders (mothers, fathers, youth, grandparents) who develop their shared vision for the Mayfair neighborhood and San José more broadly and become agents of change. We redefine leadership, power, and the perpetuated narratives of east San José.

If you’re tackling a complicated work problem, who do you call to talk it through?

Oh, that’s easy. Usually it would be SOMOS Mayfair’s associate director, Zelica Rodriguez-Deams. She and I first met at the Rockwood Institute of Leadership, and she understands where I’m coming from, both from a personal perspective and a professional perspective. And, she isn’t afraid to challenge me. I’m doing everything I possibly can do invest in her growth and leadership, because I look forward to the day when I see her across the table as another executive director, where we get the chance to solve a complicated community problems together. And I actually feel the same way about all the emerging leaders of color on our team because investing in their leadership and growth will only strengthen our sector, and more importantly sustain social justice movements.

What are you working on in 2018?

Two years ago, Zelica and I were away on a leadership training, and kept talking till 4 o’clock in the morning, when an idea emerged about how we could use SOMOS’s leadership development model and figure out how to codify it to yield two things: greater economic opportunity for the people who live in this community, and a way to transform other institutions and nonprofits. That idea became SOMOS Fuertes – a peer education network of leaders called promotoras who are from this community. They have gone through our full leadership development training and can take on economic opportunities in the areas of community organizing, outreach, translation, and child care.

Our first grant for SOMOS Fuertes came from the Health Trust as a disruptive innovation grant. We spent two years developing it, thinking through it, getting trusted advisors. We’ve launched it for a year now and gotten additional investors behind the thinking. What I’m excited about is that it stretched us in a few ways as an organization. It gave us some muscle around innovation: how do we challenge our own assumptions, and then how I give my staff the space to actually think through things in a very Silicon Valley way? Let’s throw stuff on the wall and see what sticks, and then get rid of what doesn’t. I don’t think enough people in the nonprofit sector get to do that. This year, our focus is ramping us this program and ensuring its impact and sustainability.

What are your goals as a community leader? What are you trying to accomplish?

One of my biggest things is to really invest in the leadership of others. At SOMOS I have a team of five really strong directors, and I really want to see them get into positions of power and run their own organizations. I’m very invested in that.

There are a lot of emerging leaders in this valley, and I feel like nobody sees them. I do spend the time to take people to coffee and get to know them and help them think about what is next for them. If there’s an opportunity here, I try to get them on board or I try to match them up with other organizations. Personally, my goal to continue to do that, to continue to shift the tides of leadership in this valley.

On a personal level, I’m in this discovery space – this is my second job out of college!


I’m happy to go the record and say I’m not a lifer here at SOMOS. That ties back directly to our mission – we’re supposed to be creating pipelines of leadership, and if I hold the most powerful position in this organization forever then I didn’t do that, right?

How do considerations of race, gender, and class interact in your work?

On a very personal level, the notion of being the first non-Latino leader leading a primarily Latino-serving organization was a huge one for me to take on and be comfortable enough to run this organization.

I have a very deep concern around paternalistic models of change: people coming into our neighborhood or community and telling us how we need to lead, how we need to run things. And so I had to really challenge myself to make sure I wasn’t doing the same thing as the first non-Latino running this organization. I had to be vulnerable enough and open enough to say if that I wasn’t the community’s choice to lead SOMOS, that’s cool. And my team at SOMOS will call me out anytime: that’s part of it, surrounding yourself with people who will challenge you.

As a leader, I’ve also learned to uplift my lived experience. I was born and raised in San José, my grandparents lived in Mayfair, I know what it felt like to lose an uncle to cancer because he didn’t have insurance, his son was detained and almost deported even though he grew up here in Mayfair: this is the lived experience that I have, and I try to put that experience to the table and lead from that vantage point, not from my education or my other qualifications.

I don’t feel like enough leaders get the time or space to take stock of their relationship with race, gender, and class. When dealing with constant fires, we don’t often get to ask: What is my relationship to these three things, and how do I wield power in any of these areas and show up as a leader? It’s a really hard thing to do. Two programs have given me that space (On the Verge and the American Leadership Forum) and I feel very privileged to get spaces to do that.

Tell me about the women and girls that benefit from the work of SOMOS. What do you want for them?

For the women and girls who live in Mayfair and have demonstrated their leadership, whether they’re speaking at a school board meeting on behalf of their children or are starting a new business, I want them to continuously see the power that they have. Yes, SOMOS is here to support them and provide them with skills and spaces to learn, but at the end of the day that power was always in them. And I hope that they take that and share it with their neighbors and the next generation of people here.

I think it’s very similar for SOMOS staff: it’s an immense privilege to lead a team that is primarily women, women of color, and making sure that they see themselves as able to move up, that there isn’t a glass ceiling for them. And that they can be authentic, vulnerable, and open in their leadership too. I’m trying to show my staff that leadership doesn’t only have to look one way, and they’re only going be successful if it looks like me or Zelica.

What do you want for the future of San José?

One of the things that really excites me about Mayfair as a neighborhood is its reputation. I was in Mexico on a family vacation, and I was talking to the waitstaff, and this gentleman said “Mayfair? I know Mayfair!” And I said, “You’ve been?” He said, “No, but I know that if I ever to the United States, to California, I’m supposed to go to Mayfair, because that’s the place where everyone’s welcoming, and it’s the place where I’ll get support.” I shared that with city leaders: for generations, this place has been a landing pad for people, and so how do we invest in our infrastructure – have better parks, better schools, better libraries, better streets, all of that – while making sure that the people here aren’t displaced, and that we are always welcoming to immigrants from across the globe.

Last question: where do you go in San José to get caffeinated?

As the wife of a Starbucks manager, I frequent Starbucks often! It helps pay for my child’s education. However, I love Roy’s because of its community aspect; I’m also big on Philz, because I love me a mint mojito.

Thank you!

Read the original Microsoft Spotlight on Leaders blog here.

Getting to Zero: Reducing Stigma Mini-Grant Funding Announcement

Getting to Zero Santa Clara County seeks to fund a second round of projects to specifically support the reduction of stigma. The reduction of stigma is one of four priorities that are supported under the Getting to Zero mini-grant strategy. In 2016, the Getting to Zero (GTZ) Initiative was launched and made possible with funding provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. The initiative aims to have “zero new HIV infections, zero deaths from HIV, and zero stigma related to HIV.” The GTZ Initiative awards one-time mini-grants over the course of the project to promote community agencies’ ability to recognize and respond to the greatest needs impacting individuals at-risk of, or living with HIV.

We seek to partner with community-based organizations, public agencies, clinics, faith-based groups, schools, and other groups to award one-time mini-grants to facilitate two (2) stigma-reduction workshops. Each workshop must include 1) showcasing SiemPrE Por Ti, a four-episode web series that educates the community about PrEP and addresses issue related to HIV/AIDS stigma; and 2) facilitating a discussion guided by the SiemPrE Por Ti Toolkit after the viewing.

SiemPrE Por Ti uses a telenovela-style approach that includes archetypes to convey a message of acceptance and celebration among family and friends. The series was produced by Colectivo ALA’s theater ensemble Teatro Alebrijes and funded through the first round of GTZ mini-grants.

The SiemPrE Por Ti Toolkit, funded by the County Office of LGBTQ Affairs and Supervisor Ken Yeager’s office will provide grantees the proper resources to navigate an array of discussion topics that will arise from the viewings, including issues that may still be considered taboo among Latinxs.

More specifically though this mini-grant, we hope participants will increase their knowledge and understanding of:

  1. STI/HIV prevention methods
  2. Importance of regular STI/STD testing
  3. Access points throughout the County of Santa Clara that provide STI/HIV testing
  4. Stigma reduction strategies

Grantees will be provided with the necessary resources, including a copy of SiemPrE Por Ti, SiemPrE Por Ti Toolkit, and training prior to hosting the two stigma-reduction workshops.

Grant Amount
Grant requests are not to exceed $4,073. Grant funds may support the staffing, supplies, and marketing/outreach efforts needed to facilitate the two (2) workshops.

Scope of Work

  • Prior to hosting the two stigma-reduction workshops, grantees will be required to attend a “Train the Trainer” (T2T) session. The training session will provide information on how to implement the SiemPrE Por Ti Toolkit (the training is ~two hours).
  • Grantees must host two (2) stigma-reduction workshops, that each include:
    • Viewing of SiemPrE Por Ti (there are seven (7) episodes, each are ~10 minutes).
    • Apply SiemPrE Por Ti Toolkit in the post-viewing discussion.
    • Disseminate a pre & post survey at each viewing. Survey tool will be provided to grantees.
  • Grant projects must be completed by June 30, 2018.

Grantees are required to submit a final narrative and budget report by July 31, 2018.

Application Release Date:          Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Application Due Date:                Friday, March 30, 2018
Grant Award Announcement:      Friday, April 6, 2018
Project Timeframe:                    April 9, 2018 – June 30 2018


  • Applicants must be non-profit, tax-exempt organizations or public agencies.
  • Projects must directly benefit residents of Santa Clara County.

Interested applicants must have an online account created in order to submit the full proposal. If you do not have an existing account, please click here to create an account.

Upon creating an account, click here to access the proposal.

Applications are due on Friday, March 30, 2018 by 5pm.

For questions related to this funding announcement, please contact Candelario Franco at

Download a PDF of this funding announcement.

The Health Trust Meals on Wheels joins Meals on Wheels programs across the country in 16TH Annual March for Meals Celebration

Support will help to fight senior hunger and isolation in Silicon Valley

Teresa Johnson
Director, The Health Trust Meals on Wheels
408-961-9870 |

San Jose, CA, March 1, 2018 – The Health Trust Meals on Wheels announced today that it will be participating in the 16th annual March for Meals – a month-long, community-by-community celebration of Meal on Wheels and the vulnerable seniors who rely on the vital service to remain independent at home.

”The services that we provide the seniors of Silicon Valley are critical and the need is rapidly increasing,” said Teresa Johnson, Director of The Health Trust Meals on Wheels. “Together, we can keep seniors living independently, healthier at home and feeling more connected to their community as they age.”

The annual March for Meals commemorates the historic day in March 1972 when President Nixon signed into law a measure that amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for seniors 60 years and older. Since 2002, Meals on Wheels programs from across the country have joined forces for the annual awareness campaign to celebrate this successful public-private partnership and garner the support needed to fill the gap between the seniors served and those still in need.

“This March, hundreds of local Meals on Wheels programs will rally their communities to build the support that will enable them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks to America’s most at-risk seniors all year long,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “With the demand for Meals on Wheels increasing along with our country’s senior population, we need to ensure that seniors are not forgotten.”

For more information on how you can volunteer, contribute or speak out for the seniors in Silicon Valley this March, visit

About The Health Trust Meals on Wheels:
The Health Trust Meals on Wheels delivers hot nutritious meals and offers wellness checks to seniors, adults with disabilities and homebound individuals. Roughly 80,000 meals are delivered annually to 568 clients throughout multiple cities in Santa Clara County. The Health Trust Meals on Wheels is a program of The Health Trust.

The Health Trust is an operating foundation founded in 1996. Our mission is to build health equity in Silicon Valley. We believe everyone should be afforded the opportunity to be healthy – especially the most vulnerable. To that end, we provide direct services, fund community-based organizations whose work aligns with our mission, and advocate for policies and initiatives that help advance our mission. To learn more, please visit

About Meals on Wheels America:
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit

Download a PDF of this funding announcement.