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Pima Council on Aging helps deliver meals to seniors during COVID-19 pandemic

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TUCSON (KVOA) - UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group was awarded Tucson's Pima Council on Aging a $50,000 grant. This grant will go towards helping deliver meals to senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pima Council on Aging teams up with Catholic Community Services and "Caridad Kitchen" to pack meals for seniors every morning. 

"To me, it's a pleasure working with the public," said Nicolas Marquez, who is part of the "Meals on Wheels" program. "It is a blessing because we have a lot of people that do need food, and they cannot come out of the house or we have them in quarantine, as far as staying indoors, so they will not get sick."

Lana Baldwin, VP of Philanthropy and Communications for the Pima Council on Aging said, "Folks may be feeling pretty helpless. So, I feel very fortunate to work for an organization like Pima Council on Aging that is actively doing things to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community."

"This unprecedented environment has compounded challenges faced by Arizona's most vulnerable residents and created further barriers to accessing the health care and services they need," said Heather Kane, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Arizona. "Our support of these organizations in Arizona through this UnitedHealthcare Empowering Health commitment will help provide critical aid and resources to the communities in Arizona that need it the most."

The Empowering Health grants bring more than $100 million to help United Health Group's efforts to fight COVID-19 and assist impacted communities by supporting vulnerable populations, protecting the health care workforce and advancing breakthrough innovations in testing and treatment.

This includes a recent $500,000 contribution from the United Health Foundation to the Arizona Food Bank Network to address food insecurity across the state.

In addition to UnitedHealthcare's support in Arizona, the company has launched similar community initiatives and public-private collaborations nationwide focused on addressing social determinants of health.

UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $500 million in affordable-housing communities since 2011, partnered with food banks and meal-delivery services.

Last year, the organization joined with the American Medical Association to standardize how social determinants of health data is collected and used to create more holistic care plans.

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Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious”Edward R. Murrow Award” for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY’s. Cicala has won the “Best Sportscaster” category in Tucson the last five years (voted on by readers of “Tucson Weekly”). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).

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