Press Release

Missouri Care Provides Micro-Grants to Community-Based Organizations that Support Missouri Social Services

Company Release - 2/1/2017 8:30 AM ET

ST. LOUIS and TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), on behalf of its subsidiary Missouri Care, Inc., announced today that it has given nine micro-grants to community-based organizations across the state. These micro-grants will support nonprofit and 501(c)(3) organizations that provide vital social services such as parent and prenatal education and improved access to fresh produce.

"The micro-grant program allows us to build partnerships with organizations that are working to make a difference in the Missouri communities we serve," said Lou Gianquinto, Missouri Care state president. "Missouri Care is proud to be a part of an effort that helps these organizations to grow and expand services designed to give people an opportunity for a better, healthier life."

"Many of the organizations we selected help fill social service gaps for low-income families and individuals," said Danny Maxson, manager of advocacy and community-based programs at WellCare. "It can be hard for our members to prioritize their health when they have more urgent needs around food or transportation. WellCare's micro-grant program is aimed at ensuring these vital services continue."

The 2016 micro-grants were given to the following community-based organizations:

Community-Based Organization


Program Highlights


YWCA Metro St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

YWCA Head Start program will use the grant to enhance the educational level of parents and guardians of all children and especially the 150 children currently enrolled with diagnosed asthma conditions. 

Kingdom House Financial
St. Louis, Missouri

The grant will fund BEGIN, an innovative pilot program designed to improve the experience of maternity leave for low-income, working mothers. Through targeted mental health and financial stability interventions, as well as resource and support network development, BEGIN will allow participants to use their time away from work as an opportunity to bond with their child and prioritize their health and well-being.


The Redeem Project
Jefferson City, Missouri


The grant will be used to provide information and resources for smart, healthy, affordable food preparation with actual hands-on shopping and cooking experiences. It provides low-income families the ability to integrate healthy eating habits into their everyday lives.

The Fit and Food Connection
St. Louis, Missouri

The Fit and Food Connection (FAFC) provides healthy living resources through nutrition and physical fitness to families in need. This micro-grant will allow delivery of nutritious meals to one additional single-parent, low-income family for nine months.

Let's Start
St. Louis, Missouri

This grant will be used to establish a program of gift cards for healthy foods for the children of incarcerated women placed with elderly relatives rather than in foster care. For these caregivers, most already living in poverty, feeding themselves and their grandchildren is an enormous burden.

Episcopal Community Services
Kansas City, Missouri

Funds received from this grant will allow the team of cooks at the Kansas City Community Kitchen, with the assistance of participants in the Culinary Cornerstones Training Program, to prepare healthy, enjoyable meals for youth in support and training programs throughout Jackson County.

Community Assistance Council
Kansas City, Missouri

The Community Assistance Council appreciates that food insecurity is directly related to poor health outcomes, including childhood obesity. It will use the micro-grant to purchase resources for its food pantry.

Raytown Emergency Assistance Program (REAP)
Raytown, Missouri

One of REAP's projects is a community garden that allows it to provide fresh produce to each family that come to its food pantry. It will use the grant to purchase new garden tools and create a garden shed to house tools, pots and all other items needed to keep the garden producing.

Volunteer Action Center

Columbia, Missouri

The Voluntary Action Center will use the grant to provide transportation assistance for getting to medical appointments for Boone County residents. Assistance is provided both with the provision of bus passes and gas for vehicles.


"Because of this grant from Missouri Care, doors have opened for our families with new resources like educational speakers and supplies for children with asthma enrolled in our program," said Patricia Oliver, parent services administrator at the YWCA Metro St. Louis. "We are so pleased to have been selected."

"Thank you for your donation to our BRAND KC program to help us to provide hunger relief and job training to those in need in our communities," said Beau G. Heyen, president and CEO at Episcopal Community Services. "Episcopal Community Services is committed to providing access to healthy food for our community's food insecure households. Perhaps even more importantly, we seek to lead systemic changes to ensure access to genuinely nutritious food – and the education to make healthy food choices – for all members of our local community."

"On behalf of the board, staff and those we serve, I wish to thank you for this grant. It will be used to fund the needs of our garden during the 2017 growing season," said Kristina Peters, executive director of Raytown Emergency Assistance Program. "This past season we were able to give away 1,000 bags of produce that included tomatoes, spinach, greens of all kinds, herbs and okra, along with recipes and instructions for using the produce."

"On behalf of Voluntary Action Center, thank you so much for the generous gift towards our financial assistance program. Your gift will make a real difference in the lives of families through the broad range of assistance programs offered by VAC," said Nick Foster, executive director of Voluntary Action Center.

"Your support will be used for our food pantry which provides food to families living at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line," said April Diaz, executive director of Community Assistance Council. "As you know, numerous studies show that food insecurity is highly correlated with childhood obesity and various other adverse health outcomes. Your support will provide our community's most vulnerable residents with the resources necessary to thrive."

As of Sept. 30, 2016, Missouri Care and WellCare serve approximately 130,000 members in Missouri, including 117,200 MO HealthNet Managed Care (Medicaid) members and 13,000 Medicare Prescription Drug members.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. WellCare serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2016. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at or view the company's videos at

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.