Walmart Foundation funding will help address gaps in food access, healthcare services during COVID-19

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With funding from the Walmart Foundation, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Northwest Regional Campus is working with the Arkansas Community Foundation to address gaps in food access.

The funding will also help UAMS address gaps in health care services in underserviced populations during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

UAMS received a $375,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to help address gaps in health care access, according to the release.

Part of the grant will allow UAMS to set up translation services for its HealthNow hotline that provides patients in Arkansas real-time access to a health care provider via video chat using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, according to the release. 

A separate $500,000 grant to the Arkansas Community Foundation from the Walmart Foundation will help expedite a coordinated response to food insecurity by establishing the Northwest Arkansas Equitable Food Response and Relief fund, which UAMS will direct, according to the release.

UAMS will collect and review the applications and advise in the funding of community projects improving access to healthy food. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the fund is depleted.

Apply online at https://northwestcampus.uams.edu/chr/projects/response-and-relief/.

The ripple effects of the pandemic’s impact on our health and economy will place thousands of additional individuals in a state of food insecurity. It will also disproportionately affect individuals and families at higher risk of food insecurity, including those who are lower income, lower mobility, living in rural areas and those facing chronic illnesses. We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for the funds to address these disparities during this critical time.

Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., vice chancellor for the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus

UAMS will monitor changing situations related to food insecurity in the region and will work with community organizations and the Arkansas Community Foundation to quickly respond. 

At Walmart, we’re committed to helping connect people in need with food and other services, especially during the pandemic when situations are intensified. We’re proud to support UAMS and Arkansas Community Foundation in their effort to increase health-related services and food access for underserved populations in Northwest Arkansas.

Erin Hogue, director of community operations and Northwest Arkansas giving for Walmart.org.

Daily changes in the community’s needs and organizations’ response capacity require a coordinated effort to collect information and rapidly respond. UAMS is committed to ensuring a coordinated and equitable response for all during this crisis.

Long, an assistant professor in the UAMS College of Medicine

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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