FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Stuffmann
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger (310) 442-0020 x 103
mstuffmann@mazon.org http://mazon.org

MAZON OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF HEALTHY OPTIONS, HEALTHY MEALS™ INITIATIVE
Innovative program will improve access to nutritious meals for those in need

Los Angeles (January 31, 2011) – In response to increasing evidence of the link between hunger and obesity, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger officially kicked off a groundbreaking initiative designed to make nutritious food more accessible for low- income families. Healthy Options, Healthy Meals™ is a two and a half year program funded by Kaiser Permanente, one of the country’s leading health care providers and not-for profit health plans. The initiative is designed to help food banks all over the country advance their nutrition goals and become stronger community resources for healthy eating.

“Our nation’s food banks have been taking steps to improve the nutritional quality of the food they provide,” said program director Marla Feldman. “But distributing healthier food requires that these organizations broaden the scope of their programs and practices. MAZON is uniquely positioned to help them build their capacity to accomplish this by sharing what we’ve learned the last several years working with emergency food providers on our California Nutrition and Healthy Eating Initiative.”

Participating food banks will be able to tap into MAZON’s expertise in this arena and apply effective strategies, best practices, and concrete tools that have been successfully used by their peers. Each one will be empowered to identify and implement organizational changes that will improve their ability to provide healthier food to low-income families.

“Kaiser Permanente is committed to the good health of the communities we serve, and good nutrition is an essential component of good health,” said Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president of Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente. “However, in many communities across the country, good nutrition remains elusive and the prevalence of nutrition-related health issues continues to rise. This initiative is about giving low-income families who rely on the emergency food network the resources they need to eat nutritious meals and ultimately lead healthy lives.”

For more information about Healthy Options, Healthy Meals™, please visit http://mazon.org/go/HOHM or contact Michelle Stuffmann at mstuffmann(at)mazon(dot)org.

About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national non-profit organization committed to preventing and alleviating hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds. Since 1985, MAZON has granted nearly $50 million to over 300 hunger relief organizations across the U.S. as well as in Israel and selected developing nations. For more information, please visit http://mazon.org.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal 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. For more information, go to: http://www.kp.org/newscenter.

###