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800 Virginia Families to Benefit from Free Pop-Up Grocery Markets Hosted by Aetna Better Health of Virginia and Goodr

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Companies Partner for Events in Four Virginia Cities to Provide Relief to Struggling Families

800 Virginia families are able to register for one of four holiday Pop-Up Grocery Markets hosted by Aetna Better Health of Virginia, a CVS Health company, and Goodr, a food waste management and hunger relief company. To combat food insecurity in the area, the two organizations are collaborating in four Virginia cities, with two events before Thanksgiving and two leading up to Christmas. Each of these free shopping experiences will provide 200 preregistered families with a week’s worth of groceries featuring a holiday menu to include meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy products, eggs and shelf-stable items. The Thanksgiving events will take place in Norfolk on November 19 and Petersburg on November 20. Richmond and Fredericksburg will host the two events leading up to Christmas on dates that have yet to be announced.

The US Department of Agriculture just released its new report, and the data on food insecurity is sobering. The report found that 44.2 million people nationwide reside in households that had difficulty getting enough food to feed everyone in 2022 – up from 33.8 million people the year prior. Those families include more than 13 million children experiencing food insecurity, a jump of nearly 45 percent from 2021. The findings reverse a decade-long decline in hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. and reflect the loss of several pandemic-era measures designed to strengthen the social safety net. With high inflation still causing grocery sticker shock for most American families, the additional expenses attached to celebrating the holidays are likely to force some difficult decisions for many.

Addressing food security is essential for helping individuals and families in under-resourced communities achieve better health. Our collaboration with Goodr extends our presence in the community and enables us to increase access to nutritious food across Virginia.

Joel Gray, CEO, Aetna Better Health of Virginia.

Aetna Better Health has been providing access to quality care to Medicaid enrollees in Virginia since 1996. The health plan serves more than 270,000 enrollees across the state through the Cardinal Care Medicaid managed care program. Aetna Better Health of Virginia has collaborated with Goodr to positively impact communities by helping address food insecurity for individuals and families nationwide through Goodr’s Hunger Relief Services.

Goodr is honored to have served alongside Aetna to provide hunger relief to communities in Colorado, Michigan, Louisiana and Texas over the past couple of years. We look forward to bringing some holiday joy this year to these Virginia communities and to maintaining a lasting partnership of service with Aetna Better Health of Virginia.

Jasmine Crowe-Houston, Goodr Founder and CEO