The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation funded food banks with a total of $2.5 million this week, amid COVID-19 surge.

The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is giving $2.5 million to 39 food banks across 15 states and Washington, DC. The announcement came on Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement that encourages people and organizations to do good, which has deeper resonance amid the challenges presented by COVID-19.  

“As a result of the pandemic, food insecurity rates and reliance on food banks are skyrocketing like never before,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president for foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California and its affiliates. “Fighting food insecurity is not only the right thing to do for our communities during these trying times, but it also aligns with our mission to promote oral health.”

Dental caries, or the disease that causes tooth decay, has been linked to food insecurity, which is a disruption in food intake or eating patterns due to a lack of resources, according to numerous studies. Delta Dental of California and its affiliates, through the Foundation, employee support and corporate giving, have strengthened food banks across its enterprise states for years. As the economic crisis caused by the pandemic continues, it became clear it was time to increase that support exponentially.

This announcement comes on the heels of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation’s award of $11 million in grants in response to COVID-19, including $1 million for food banks and Meals on Wheels programs. Support amid the pandemic from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation totals nearly $15 million to-date across Delta Dental of California’s 15-state and Washington, DC enterprise.