Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Sentara, Truist commit $1 million for state’s emergency food support system

Sentara Healthcare and Truist announced a $1 million grant to the We Care COVID-19 Virginia Emergency Food Support Plan, a part of the Federation of Virginia Foodbanks .

The money “will strengthen Virginia’s emergency food support system to provide meals and nourishment to families during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” according to a news release from Sentara.

Sentara, and its health plan Optima Health, will contribute $500,000, while Truist has committed to giving $500,000.

“While Sentara remains focused on caring for our patients and health plan members as well as supporting our staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, we also recognize that many in our communities across Virginia are struggling with unmet needs such as a lack of food during this unprecedented crisis,” said Howard P. Kern, president and CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “We sincerely hope this program will encourage other organizations to join us in this statewide initiative to provide meaningful solutions for our communities during this global pandemic.”

The We Care program centers around a new innovative emergency food care package, a five-day supply of nonperishable food. The care packages can be easily assembled and distributed through food distribution points, which are managed by Virginia’s seven regional food banks and their associated partners, according to the news release.

Sentara and the Federation of Virginia Foodbanks are exploring new distribution points to help people most in need or those who need to be quarantined.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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