Kaiser Permanente Grants Support Access to Healthy Food During COVID-19 Pandemic

South San Francisco, CA  December 22, 2020 Submitted by Matt Skryja, Kaiser Permanente

$95,000 grant to San Francisco and Marin nonprofit to help increase enrollment in CalFresh and address rising food insecurity

 Kaiser Permanente is supporting local nonprofits as they seek innovative ways to enroll eligible households in CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program has seen a surge in applications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to ensure people have access to, and can afford, nutritious food to help keep them healthy.

Kaiser Permanente is awarding a $95,000 grant to the San Francisco Marin Food Bank to help serve the growing number of people in the community who need food assistance, many of whom have lost their jobs because of COVID-19.

  • With this grant funding, the San Francisco Marin Food Bank will work to advance efforts to provide equitable access to CalFresh for communities that are underserved by the program, including Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ populations. The Kaiser Permanente funding will enable the nonprofit to help 1,400 households apply for benefits.


“CalFresh is one of the most effective ways to end hunger in our community. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of people reaching out for help to apply for CalFresh,” said Paul Ash, executive director, San Francisco Marin Food Bank. “This generous grant from Kaiser Permanente will help us meet a growing need for food. It will also support our work to overcome enrollment barriers that some people face when applying for this critical program.”

The San Francisco Marin Food Bank grant is among 18 Kaiser Permanente is awarding to food banks, community clinics, and family resource centers in Northern California to increase enrollment in CalFresh, with an emphasis on outreach to underserved communities. CalFresh helps low income individuals, families, and households to purchase nutritious food, providing up to $204 a month per household member in food benefits.

“Kaiser Permanente’s mission is supporting the well-being of the communities we serve,” said Ron Groepper, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente Greater San Francisco Area. “During a time when the pandemic has left so many in need, it is critical that we step in and help.”


This fall, Kaiser Permanente also awarded additional grants to support access to healthy food, including:


  • $200,000 to the California Association of Food Banks to secure state funding for emergency food disaster assistance, distribute 175 million pounds of fresh produce and proteins through the Farm to Family program and increase the CalFresh enrollment rate statewide from 72% to 75% by the end of 2021.


  • $100,000 to California WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Association to share and support the adoption of innovative practices to ensure WIC benefits are provided to eligible families throughout California.

About Kaiser Permanente

For 75 years, Kaiser Permanente has been committed to shaping the future of health and health care — and helping our members, patients, and communities experience more healthy years. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Since July 21, 1945, Kaiser Permanente’s mission has been to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. http://about.kaiserpermanente.org

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