Food insecurity below U.S. average


Food insecurity near U.S. average


Food insecurity above U.S. average

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Packing “Bags of Hope” in Phoenix

I can’t help but wonder, as I usually do, about logistics for the day’s Do Good. Live Well. “Pack the House” volunteer project at Kitchen on the Street in Phoenix. I was a little nervous since this is my first time at Kitchen on the Street.

When we arrived Lisa Scrapinato, CEO of Kitchen on the Street, greeted us and introduced us to her warehouse staff. She then gave us a few pointers about the assembly-line setup and details on how things would work in their large warehouse.  Soon, our UnitedHealthcare volunteers started to arrive and we were ready to pack meals.

Lisa got everyone’s attention with a warm welcome and she shared some history about Kitchen on the Street. While she’s talking, I cannot help but admire her passion for helping children who would not have meals over the weekends if not for Kitchen on the Street’s Bags of Hope.

We were honored to have Dave Peralta, AZ Diamondbacks right fielder, and his wife, Jordan, join us for this project, along with the D-backs organist, Bobby Freeman, and Baxter. Bobby’s music set the tempo for packing 12,000 meals, which happened in seemingly record time. Either that, or time really flies when you’re having fun!

One of the volunteers, Gigi Franco, said she was so happy to participate in this project because it gave several of her team members an opportunity to volunteer together… Something she had been wanting to do for some time.

After a volunteer project like this, I am still in wonder, in awe, to learn about such a need in our communities and the incredible heart of leaders, like Lisa and our UnitedHealthcare employees who came together to help make a difference.

Alisa Grande is a social responsibility program coordinator at UnitedHealthcare.

Click here to see pictures from this project.

About Kitchen on the Street
Kitchen on the Street began serving the community in 2007 when the Scarpinato family learned about the prevalence of food insecurity in local Arizona children. Hearing that thousands of children that received breakfast and lunch at school but were going hungry on weekends compelled Vince, Lisa and Taylor Scarpinato to found Kitchen on the Street as a means of bringing food and hope to children in need. In 2007 Kitchen on the Street was limited to one program to serve the hungry children of Phoenix, a food backpack program providing shelf stable meals and snacks to food insecure children. As a volunteer driven faith based non-profit organization, KOS relies on the community to meet the needs of the hungry and hurting. Thanks to the generosity of individuals, business owners and corporations in providing faithful volunteers and provisional funding, various programs are available throughout Arizona and in 2011 the Bags of Hope program began in San Antonio, Texas.

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