December 18, 2012 at 08:30 AM EST
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, UnitedHealthcare Employees Join Together to Tackle Hunger

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, cheerleaders and team mascot Captain Fear are joining more than 80 UnitedHealthcare employees today to pack food boxes at Feeding America Tampa Bay.

The athletes and employees are working together to fight hunger and help the food bank provide 10,000 meals to hungry people throughout west central Florida. UnitedHealthcare is also donating $15,000 in support of Feeding America Tampa Bay’s Mobile Pantry Program. The food bank’s Mobile Pantry delivers groceries directly to people who live in the area’s most vulnerable communities.

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and UnitedHealthcare are both deeply committed to the central Florida community,” said Kevin Brown, community relations manager, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “By teaming up to support Feeding America Tampa Bay, we hope to make a positive impact on the quality of life for our communities and reach more people who desperately need help accessing nutritious foods.”

Tuesday’s event follows the Dec. 9 "Sack Hunger and Holiday Toy Drive" at Raymond James Stadium, which was hosted by the Glazer Family Foundation, Raymond James Financial, Southern Ford Dealers and UnitedHealthcare. The drive, which collected nonperishable food and new, unwrapped toys, benefitted local charities including Feeding America Tampa Bay, which distributes food donations to hungry populations throughout west central Florida.

“With support from the community and partners like UnitedHealthcare, this is a tremendous boost in helping to alleviate hunger in the Tampa area,” said Thomas Mantz, executive director, Feeding America Tampa Bay. “Together we can elevate our effort to feed people in need.”

The number of west central Florida residents in need of food assistance has grown dramatically over the past three years to more than 700,000, 250,000 of whom are children. In the past 12 months, Feeding America Tampa Bay has distributed more than 35 million pounds of food – enough to provide more than 2 million meals every month.

“We appreciate the opportunity to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today to make a difference in the lives of our Florida neighbors and to ensure they have access to fresh, nutritious food,” said T. David Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Florida, Central North Florida Division. “Feeding America Tampa Bay provides a vital service to the people of west central Florida, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with them in the fight against hunger.”

This event is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism in communities where UnitedHealthcare employees live and work.

For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit www.DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About Feeding America Tampa Bay
Founded in 1982, Feeding America Tampa Bay receives surplus food donations from growers, manufacturers, supermarkets and organized community food drives and distributes it to the hungry through a network of 600 hunger relief organizations across West Central Florida. The Tampa-based food bank serves a poverty population of close to 700,000, providing 35 million pounds of food to its 10-county service area this year. Feeding America Tampa Bay is a member of the national Feeding America network. feedingamericatampabay.org

About the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play an active role in community development through a variety of youth health and education initiatives, family outreach, and military support involving players, coaches, cheerleaders, alumni, and staff. Through team donations, engaging outreach initiatives, NFL programs, and appearances, nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations benefit from the team's charitable endeavors throughout the year. To learn more about what the Buccaneers are doing in the community, visit www.buccaneers.com/community.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

Contacts:

UnitedHealthcare
Courtney Johnson, 612-702-7703
Courtney_T_Johnson@uhc.com
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