UnitedHealthcare, Hunger Task Force help put breakfast food on the table

Renee Ladewig-Lathrop (left) and her fellow community relations specialists from the statewide UnitedHealthcare organization distributed milk, bread and eggs to community members in the Prairie du Chien area Monday afternoon, with the help of some local volunteers as well. The semi-load of breakfast foods sat in the parking lot behind CouleeCap for two hours, in hopes of providing assistance for people who are food insecure. Free health screenings and informational handouts were also provided. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin
UnitedHealthcare and the Hunger Task Force have partnered to help put food on the table for area families. On Monday afternoon, for just two hours, a semi-load of milk, bread and eggs was stationed in the CouleeCap parking lot in Prairie du Chien, where volunteers distributed the breakfast groceries. No eligibility checks were done, though the hope was to serve people who are food insecure.

For the next couple of days, the organizations will hand out food in Crawford, La Crosse, Trempealeau, Monroe and Vernon Counties. There’s enough in the bags for a family of four to eat breakfast for at least one week.

“One of our missions is to help people live healthier lives. We wanted to do breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day,” said Renee Ladewig-Lathrop, a community relations specialist with UnitedHealthcare.

In addition, the effort also provided health care handouts and free screenings, such as blood pressure checks and body mass index (BMI) measurements.

“Our goal is to set up where people are used to getting services,” Ladewig-Lathrop noted.

UnitedHealthcare also partners with Feeding America on the west side of the state to do a similar dinner program.

Monday’s effort was something new to the area, according to Daphne Jackson, another community relations specialist with the organization. “If we see there’s a need, we would like to come back,” she said. Jackson wasn’t sure when that might be, however. She said that, next time, more advanced notice for community members will be given.

The leftover milk, bread and eggs, which UnitedHealthcare purchased through Festival Foods, were left at CouleeCap for distribution for area residents in need.

UnitedHealthcare is a statewide organization that serves people on medical assistance. To learn more about its benefits and services, call (800) 504-9660 or visit uhccommunity plan.com.

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